Article | Last updated: 2016-11-16 | Ministry of Education and Research
The professional and personal competencies of its staff are a kindergarten’s most important resource and play an essential role in ensuring that the kindergarten is a good arena for formative development, care, play, learning and reducing social inequalities.
As societal pedagogical institutions, kindergartens are in a state of constant evolution and development. Quality development in kindergartens entails ongoing expansion 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;
- Training more kindergarten teachers;
- Further developing kindergarten-based competence-building measures;
- Strengthening continuing and further education so that more employees acquire formal competence in early childhood education;
- Strengthening relevant programmes in vocational schools in priority areas;
- Continuing leadership training for kindergarten heads and assistant heads;
- Establishing a framework to provide staff members with the skills needed to create a good, safe environment for care and learning and for combating bullying in kindergarten.
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 participation, learning and development. Early, targeted efforts are important for improving language, reading and writing skills for children and adolescents.
Children who have attended kindergarten should be equipped with the language skills needed to 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 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.
The government has launched a national strategy to strengthen children’s language and reading skills from an early age.
This strategy is unique in that it is the first of its kind to focus systematically from kindergarten, primary school and lower secondary school through upper secondary school levels.