Competency in kindergarten

The professional and personal competencies of its staff are a kindergarten’s most important resource. Staff competencies play an essential role in ensuring that the kindergarten is a good arena for formative development, care, play, learning and for reducing social inequalities. This is established in the regulations and the framework plan for kindergartens.

As societal pedagogical institutions, kindergartens are in a state of constant evolution and development. Quality work in kindergartens entails ongoing development of the competence of staff members. 

The government will strengthen competence-building efforts in the kindergarten sector, among other things by:

  • Strengthening opportunities for kindergarten teachers to keep themselves up to date in their field;
  • Increasing the proportion of kindergarten teachers and having more kindergarten teachers with a relevant master degree;
  • Increase the proportion of child care- and youth workers in kindergarten;
  • Strengthening continuous and further education so that more employees acquire formal competence in early childhood education;
  • Developing the pedagogical work in all kindergartens by way of kindergarten-based competence-building measures;
  • Continuing leadership training for kindergarten heads and assistant heads;
  • Provide staff members with the skills needed to create a good, inclusive and safe environment for care and learning and for combating bullying in kindergarten.

The Kindergarten Act regulates the requirement for staff qualifications and competencies. Kindergarten Heads and Kindergarten Teachers are required to have bachelor degrees. Kindergarten assistants can have a training as child care and youth workers.

Language in kindergarten

It is a stated government objective to give children with weak Norwegian-language skills the help they need before they start school regardless of whether or not they attend kindergarten.

Good communication skills and well-developed language are an essential prerequisite for active participation, learning and development. Early, targeted efforts are important for improving language, reading and writing skills for children and adolescents.

Kindergartens shall support children in developing  the language skills needed to be actively engaged and follow instruction in school. 

Knowledge about language-related activities in kindergarten is a priority area in the government’s competency strategy for kindergarten employees. The framework plan for kindergartens requires of staff to provide children with appropriate language stimulation and activities that promote children's communication and a comprehensive language development.  

The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training supports kindergartens with instructional materials. Among other things, the directorate has put together a manual entitled ”Språk i barnehagen – mye mer enn bare prat” [Language in kindergarten – much more than just talk]. The manual also provides useful information for parents.

Good language skills are a prerequisite for inclusion and integration. The government strategy for integration states that migrant children and adolescents should develop proficient knowledge in Norwegian and basic skills through equitable education from kindergartens through upper secondary.