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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC


4.Early childhood education and care

4.5Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC

Last update: 27 November 2023

Education in state and municipal ECEC settings is based on the classical philosophy of education. In documents, this is called traditional education.Depending on the needs of the community, ECEC providers may focus on one or more specific area(s), for example, paying additional attention to citizenship education, healthy living or artistic expression.

Philosophy of education. By promoting diversity in education, non-governmental institutions can base their education on other philosophies of education. For example, M. Montessori, Sh. Suzuki, Waldorf et al. The state and municipal ECEC setting cannot base their methodology on a non-traditional education system but can use elements of it in their activities. It is important that the education provided by a non-traditional ECEC setting complies with the principles of the Lithuanian education system and legal acts. At the same time, the non-traditional education system must reflect the following values: the system must help the person to develop tolerance, tolerance for other world views, culture and religion, foster personal dignity, respect and ensure the international and national rights of children. In 2010, education according to the non-traditional philosophy of education was described and approved by the Minister of Education, Science and Sports in the Concept of Non-Traditional Education (Netradicinio ugdymo koncepcija).

Educational structures. ECEC institutions as pedagogical centres. Back in 1997 in the development of childhood pedagogy, Childhood Pedagogy Centres (CPC) were established. They were named CPC not only because education took place there, but new pedagogical processes, methods and models were initiated and tested. Pedagogy students performed their internships in those centres. Based on this practice, today higher education institutions are setting up their own ECEC setting, and testing and developing new pedagogical methods and models for the development of childhood pedagogical studies. In 2020 Mykolas Romeris University announced the establishment of a school with a kindergarten. In 2016 Vilnius University of Applied Sciences established its own kindergarten.

Multi-functional centres. With the declining population in towns and rural areas, various services are concentrated in a single institution. The multi-functional centre provides educational, cultural, social, health, sports, employment and other services for children and the local community. Among the various educational activities, the multifunctional centre can also provide early education.

Outdoor kindergartens. In spring 2014 the doors of the first “outdoor kindergarten” were opened. This kindergarten concept came to Lithuania from Scandinavia. It is an ECEC setting where most of the activities take place outdoors regardless of the weather or time of year.