The legislative process for building a unitary ECEC system and, implicitly, for the organisation and functioning of ECEC services as integrated, inclusive and quality services has continued.
In the framework of the project Inclusive and quality early childhood education and care (ETIC), which was extended until 11 June 2023, the following activities are to be completed:
- Capitalizing on competences after training programmes, whereby two packages of educational materials have been designed for 2 184 teachers who completed the two training programmes provided in the project, and
- An awareness raising campaign at national level on the new institutional and curricular framework, with an opening to quality services for ante-preschoolers as a prerequisite for preventing early school leaving.
This project has also developed:
- a draft for a government decree on the approval of quality standards for ante-preschool ECEC
- an order of the Education Minister on the development of a coherent institutional and system-level quality assurance framework, so as to establish an institutional and legislative link between the institutions involved at central and local levels, including through joint activities for early intervention or for the development of ECEC services; and
- a draft of the Guide for ante-preschool early childhood education and care, which will be completed by the end of the project and will be published on the websites of the Ministry of Education and the ETIC project, respectively.
By 11 June 2023, a number of 2 401 teachers will be certified under the project. Currently, consideration is given to the possibility to extend the implementation period of the project until the end of 2023.
Under the call for proposals Development of ante-preschool education services, funding is provided for projects designed to increase the participation rates of children aged between 0 and 2 years in ante-preschool ECEC through the establishment of crèche groups. The implementation of 36 projects that were selected began in January 2021 and will finish in the fourth trimester of 2023. Each project targets a minimal group of 52 ante-preschoolers as beneficiaries, and the projects will support a number of 2 192 children as beneficiaries.
The launch of the call for proposals Development of complementary early childhood education and care services prioritizes those projects which will be implemented in remote, economically disadvantaged, rural communities or projects targeting vulnerable groups of children. The maximum amount of the grant is EUR 250 000 per project. In this respect, a Methodology for the organisation and functioning of complementary early childhood education and care services was adopted. Under this call, 100 applications were submitted and evaluated and contracts will be signed for 92 of them.
The Ministry of Education continues to implement actions and programmes that will ensure, from a legislative standpoint, the organization and functioning of Early childhood education and care (ECEC) as integrated services to gradually become universal.
The Ministry of Education has launched call for proposals, funded under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP): Development of complementary early childhood education and care services (I2- R. 2, Development of a unitary, inclusive and quality system of early childhood education and care services). Objective: Increase the capacity of the system and the quality of early childhood education and care services so as to improve the participation rates, both at ante-preschool and at preschool levels, through investment in the establishment and operationalisation of 412 complementary services. The investment provides for the allocation to public and private operators, in stages and by lots (2 lots of 200 and 212 units per lot respectively), of grants for establishing, equipping and operationalising 412 complementary services.
These services will serve approximately 20 600 children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In the Project on the reform of early childhood education and care, taking place in the period 2009 - 31 December 2023, the works for 336 kindergartens have been completed, the works for 63 kindergartens are in progress and 2 kindergartens are in the design phase. The objective of the project is to develop the school infrastructure by building and providing furniture for 401 new kindergartens, for kindergartens operating in buildings which are no longer safe for use, in buildings subject to retrocession or in inappropriate spaces for this type of education, as well as to improve the quality of preschool education through teacher training and the provision of educational resources.
The document Organisational and operational rules and regulation of preschool education which was already drafted will be supplemented with information on early ante-preschool education contained in the documents to be developed in 2022, within the non-competitive project Inclusive and quality early education (ETIC).
The ETIC project trained:
- 223 mentors for early education,
- 94 experts in curricular development (trained by the partner universities) and
- 2,283 teachers in preschool education - early education level (carried out the cascade training; 50 teachers/ county), who will work with children aged 2-3 years enrolled in kindergartens.
Between 12 August 2019 and 15 March 2022, 2,600 teachers were trained to teach in preschool and ante-preschool education.
The project was extended until late 2022, in order to complete the training activity, and a new project activity titled Expanding the skills acquired in training programmes with new approaches at European level – study visit to Reggio Emilia, Italy. This activity aims at organizing by the beneficiary of the project a round of specialized continuous training sessions for teachers in preschool education and the training of 44 teachers in pre-university education. At the same time, the project activity titled National awareness campaign on the new institutional and curricular framework, opened to quality services for preschool children, as a prerequisite to prevent early school leaving was rescheduled for the end of project implementation period.
Through the projects under the project call Development of ante-preschool education services there will be funded projects designed to increase the participation rates in ante-preschool education of children aged 0-2 years, by setting up nursery groups. The implementation of the 36 selected applications started in January 2021 and will be completed at the end of 2023. Each project targets a group of minimum 52 beneficiary pre-schoolers, resulting in 1,872 children to be supported through these projects. After a period of project suspension (necessary to prepare the conditions for accreditation of nurseries), the activities of the project were resumed earlier this year.
On 28 April 2022, the Government adopted by GD the Methodology for the organization and functioning of nurseries and other pre-school early education units, initiated by the Ministry of Education. This document sets the organization and functioning of ante-preschool educational establishments.
In order to develop the measures regarding early education continue.
With regard to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services (0-to-6-year-olds), the Ministry of Education (MoEd) has continued to implement actions and programmes designed to ensure – in legislative terms – the organisation and functioning of such services as integrated services, so that they can gradually become universal.
The Rules for the Organisation and Functioning of Preschool Education have been drafted and will be completed with information on ante-preschool education (day-care) included in documents which are to be developed in 2021 in the framework of the non-competitive project Inclusive and quality early childhood education and care (ETIC). The estimated deadline for the approval of the Rules is Quarter 4/2021.
The National Committee for Supporting Early Childhood Education and Care (CNSET) was established in March 2020. In Quarter 1/2021 it developed and approved the document Diagnosis and forecast regarding the organization and operating of quality services in the field of early education in Romania and to support implementation thereof. This document will be a starting point in shaping macro level policies in ECEC and, implicitly, a basis for the revision and approximation of legislation in this field, which will be achieved through several ministerial orders.
Within the ETIC project, in the working meetings of CNSET, the following documents were approved:
The analysis report of the current organisational and operational framework of early education and on good practices in this area.
The SWOT analysis of educational, medical and social services provided in nurseries and kindergartens in Romania over the past three years for children aged fewer than 3 and their families.
The Framework document for diagnosis and forecast on the organization and operating of quality services in early education in Romania and to supporting their implementation.
Through the ETIC project, some data:
Between November 2020 and February 2021, 223 mentors for early education were trained.
Between January 2021 and March 2021, 94 experts in curriculum development were trained.
Between 12 August 2019 and 11 August 2021, 2,600 teachers in early preschool education were trained.
Through the projects within the project call Development of early pre-school education services, projects will be financed to increase the participation rates in early pre-school education of children aged 0 to 2, by setting up nursery groups. The implementation of the 36 selected projects started in January 2021 and will be completed in Quarter 4/2023. Each project targets a minimum group of 52 beneficiary pre-schoolers, the 1,872 children being granted support.
Elements of the draft National Strategy for Early Childhood Education and Care will be undertaken in the public educational policies to be applied over the period 2021-2027, which are founded on the project Educated Romania of the Presidential Administration.