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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Educational guidelines


4.Early childhood education and care

4.3Educational guidelines

Last update: 27 March 2024

Steering documents

Preschool institutions have to apply the Programme for preschool upbringing and education. The programme was approved by the National Council for Education and is being implemented in all public and licensed private preschool institutions. 

The conceptual basis of the Preschool education programme contains fundamental theoretical starting points and principles, derived from leading learning theories, modern scientific knowledge about children and childhood (humanistic-developmental model, socio-constructivism, post-structuralism), curriculum theory, positive experiences and examples of good practice, proposals of practitioners and children themselves from the Montenegrin preschool context, comparative examples of quality programs from the environment and the world.

It is intended for everyone who is directly involved in the educational process in preschool institutions, primarily teachers, as the key bearers of pedagogical activity in nurseries and kindergartens, nurses, professional associates, educational management, parents, students and the community.

The preschool program framework concept is the basis for:
- developing programs of educational work in specific areas of learning and their functional integration,
- developing programs at the level of preschool institutions,
- developing programs at the level of the educational group,
- development of various special and specialized programs in preschool institutions,
- planning the necessary resources for educational work and organizing a responsive learning environment,
- planning the participation of all stakeholders in the educational process (children, educators, co-workers, parents, representatives of the wider community),
- creation of criteria for self/evaluation of the educational process.

The starting points of the Preschool Education and Training Program are current reference documents (Law on Preschool Education, the Strategy on Early and Preschool Education 2021-2025, Inclusive Education Strategy 2021-2025), past experiences and insights into current preschool practices, achievements and challenges (results of research and review of current indicators within the Strategy, results of implemented micro-research, using a survey for educators and a case study for children), as well as modern scientific knowledge about the potential of early childhood development and a purposeful responsive environment in preschool education and education institutions.

The program achieves its leading goal by providing support for childs' well-being, which is a multidimensional, interactive, dynamic process that integrates healthy, integral individual functioning in the community, affirming successful social relationships in a supportive social environment. Well-being includes an emotional, physical and social component and implies a subjective positive state in an individual child on a micro level, which can be manifested through the aspects of vitality, relaxation, openness and satisfaction of the child (which can further be operationalized)

1. The principle of a holistic approach to the child, the program, the process
2. The principle of democracy and pluralism
3. The principle of program openness, autonomy and professional responsibility
4. The principle of equal opportunities and inclusiveness
5. The principle of choice
6. Principle of participation
7. The principle of balance
8. The principle of professional foundation of the program
9. The principle of horizontal connection and continuity
10. The principle of vertical connection and continuity
11. The principle of cooperation with the family
12. The principle of cooperation with the local community;
13. Principle of team planning
14. The principle of critical evaluation or evaluation

The program is organized according to learning areas (5) - Language and communication; I grow, I move; Personal and social relationships; Mathematics and nature/environmental diversity of the world; Art and creative expression. The English language is a special program area, which is designed in accordance with the methodological guidelines of the Programme, but it also has peculiarities, since this part of the program is implemented by English language teachers.

The areas, which are necessarily intertwined with each other, are operationalized within 4 narrow units:
a) introductory guidelines on learning areas (5);
b) goals, which are developed from two criteria angles: age-developmental and cognitive-taxonomical;
c) suggestions of life-practical activities i
d) questions for reflective practice of educators

After the learning area, the following topics follow: planning, documenting the pedagogical process in a preschool institution, learning environment, family and community, role of the educator.


Portfolios are used for continuous monitoring, tracking progress and addressing needs and assessing overall development. 

Children’s achievements are not assessed using numerical grading; rather, their development is monitored. For this purpose, a portfolio is used, which is a compilation of information about a child, their development and progression (achieving a certain level of development, personal abilities and skills). It is developed and updated over a number of years, while the child is in the preschool institution.

Each portfolio is unique and, as such, is used to monitor and evaluate each child’s progress according to the key areas of development: sensory and motor, cognitive, social and emotional and communication. It is also used to monitor and improve health. This is conducted through unique, officially recognized instruments: developmental maps, assessment scales according to development domains, check lists, questionnaires, etc. The portfolio is structured by systematically collecting information from parents, preschool teachers, nurses and professional associates, who all need to actively participate, provide content to be added to the portfolio, and monitor and improve the development of the child.

Tools for monitoring the development of each child are used in the process of evaluation. These may include assessment scales, observation lists for each area of development and for certain ages, and the results of the sociometric matrices and sociograms used at the beginning and end of the school year. Based on these, a report is prepared which is given to to the parents, who then send it to the primary school. In that way, the portfolio and the process of transition from kindergarten to primary school are connected.

Transition to primary school

A Program for the transition from preschool institutions to primary school has been adopted by the National Council for Education (in 2016/2017) with a view to ensuring the continuity and timeliness of these levels of education. It is a model with clearly defined, precise and well-considered steps of cooperation between preschool and primary school in the best interests of the children. This programme is binding for preschool institutions and primary schools. The programme of transition from kindergarten to primary school includes a guide, which is structured by developmental areas that provides guidelines on what to include in the report prepared on the basis of each child’s portfolio and sent to the primary school.