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


4.Early childhood education and care

4.6Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC

Last update: 27 November 2023

Children aged up to 3 years

The care system for children aged up to 3 years does not provide for childcare settings other than crèches, kids’ clubs, day-care providers and nannies.

All other activities are undertaken on the basis of the Act of 6 March 2018, The Law of Entrepreneurs (ustawa z dnia 6 marca 2018 r. Prawo przedsiębiorców), and require entry onto the Register of Crèches and Kids’ Clubs kept by the mayor of the commune, city or town. Only crèches and kids’ clubs which fulfil the standards laid down by the legislation can be entered onto the Register. Similarly, only day-care providers who meet the statutory requirements can be included in the Register of Day-Care Providers.

Sometimes childcare services are of an informal nature and are based on an agreement (often informal and, thus, oral) between parents and an individual providing childcare.

Children aged 3–6 years

Many alternative curricular and/or methodological approaches are used in preschool education. Preschool teachers often draw on the experience of Montessori’s and C. Freinet’s nursery schools and R. Steiner’s nursery schools (Waldorf nursery schools) and other similar institutions (for example, Reggio Emilia preschool institutions based on Loris Malaguzzi’s model). Teachers often use such alternative methods on a selective basis and create their own approaches adapted to the needs of their environment.

Many interesting ideas are proposed to help the child acquire skills and knowledge that facilitate the transition to school. Most of them aim to develop specific skills needed in school or selected skills in the areas of fine arts, ecology, culture, music, etc. Such approaches are available in the form of dedicated programmes and methods; for example, Sherborne Development Movement; Klanza method; Batii Strauss’ active listening to music; Rudolf Laban’s creative gymnastics method; Paul Dennison’s method; Glen Doman’s method, etc.

Interesting Polish approaches which are being tested include, for example, E. Gruszczyk-Kolczyńska’s approach to mathematics education; a method for learning to read proposed by B. Rocławski, J. Cieszyńska or I. Majchrzak; ecological education by S. Dylak, M. Cichy, A. Brzezińska, B. Wojnarowska; creative education by K. Szmidt; music education by L. Kataryńczuk-Mania; visual arts education by K. Łapot-Dzierwa; and M. Bogdanowicz’s Good Start method.