Who is responsible for what within the kindergarten sector?

The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, the County Governors, the municipalities and kindergarten owners are responsible for kindergartens.

The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training provides professional input to, and implements, adopted national policy. Overall, the directorate’s tasks can be categorised as follows:

  • documentation and analysis of the condition of kindergartens
  • quality and expertise development for the kindergarten sector
  • grant and regulatory administration
  • supervisory tasks
  • guidance for the sector 

The County Governors implement the kindergarten policy in their individual counties through the management of state grants, tasks according to the Kindergarten Act and guidance of municipalities. The County Governor coordinates and initiates development work in municipalities and kindergartens. The County Governor also supervises the municipality’s performance of its role as a kindergarten authority, and can supervise individual nurseries in special cases.

The municipalities are local kindergarten authorities and are responsible for approving and supervising the kindergartens in the municipality, both private and municipal. All kindergartens must be approved before any business can begin. Municipalities must monitor to ensure that business is run within the framework of this approval, that the kindergarten’s statutes do not conflict with the law, and that the content is in accordance with the law and framework plan. Supervision also involves an active guidance responsibility. The municipality must ensure that all approved kindergartens in the municipality receive public subsidies in an equal way overall. The municipality must cover costs for the ordinary operations of kindergartens that are not covered by other public subsidies and parental payments.

Kindergarten owners are responsible for the provision in individual kindergartens, whether the kindergarten owner is municipal or private. Private kindergartens are mainly owned by parents, individuals, associations and non-profit organisations. The collaboration committee in kindergartens determine the kindergarten’s annual plan which ensures that parents and staff can participate in the design of the educational content. Kindergarten owners are responsible for employing sufficient and competent staff.

Statped is a state support service for municipalities and county municipalities in their work to ensure that children, young people and adults with permanent and extensive needs for special provision receive good, adapted kindergarten and training services in an inclusive community. Statped will provide services in small and particularly specialised areas of vision, hearing, acquired brain damage, combined sensory loss and deafblindness, sign language and alternative and supplementary communication (ASK). Statped can also give services in especially complex cases within the subject areas of complex learning difficulties and language/speech difficulties.

The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research has overall responsibility for the kindergarten sector.