This report provides an overview of the current situation regarding early childhood education and care provision in Scotland, England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, France and the Netherlands.

Key Terms Within Country Reports

Chapter 2 - Country Report Scotland

Childminding: family day care for children of all ages

Children/family centre: multi-purpose service centre for children and their families, including ECEC

Creche: 'drop-in' care for children

Full-time nursery place: whole-day, five days per week

Home carers: family, friend, neighbour care; nannies

Independent schools: private schools

Nurseries: centre-based care for children under five years which may be provided on a public or private basis (includes local authority nursery classes which are part-time day care services for three to four year olds in primary schools as well as nursery schools which are independent, often full-day centres)

Playgroup: sessional care for children under five; often provided by parents or other community volunteers

School-age childcare: out-of-school group-based care, including holiday play schemes and breakfast clubs

Chapter 3 - Country Report England

Childcare: generally refers to provision for children below the age of three and for children generally outwith educational hours

Childminding: family day care for children of all ages

Children's Centre: multi-purpose service centre for children and their families, including ECEC

Day nursery: centre-based care for children under five years

Early Years Entitlement (EYE): the central government provides funding to local authorities to ensure that every three and five year olds has access to a part-time nursery education

Formal care: includes day care centres, children's centres, sessional care/playgroups

Home carers: family, friend, neighbour care; nannies

Nursery class: class in primary school for three to four year olds, usually part-time

Playgroup/preschool: usually part-time services for children between two and four years

Reception class: 1st year of primary school, may take four year olds

School-age childcare: out-of-school group-based care

Chapter 4 - Country Report Sweden

After school care (fritidshem): called free-time services in Sweden, offered at the end of the school day

Family day carers (dagbarnvårdare): provide pedagogical care (pedagogisk verksamhet)

Free-time pedagogues (fritidspädagoger): work in after school care (in Sweden these are called 'free time' services)

Independent preschools: privately-owned preschools

Maximum fee (maxtaxa): maximum amount any parents pay for ECEC

Municipalities (kommuner): the main providers of publicly-funded ECEC services

Nursery nurses (barnskötare): work in preschool and preschool class settings

Open preschool (öppen förskola): offering playgroup activities to children (mostly under three) accompanied by their parents/carers

Pedagogical care (pedagogisk verksamhet): formerly family day care (familjedaghem). This is all-year round full-day provision, usually for a small number of children in the carer's home

Preschool (förskola): an 'age integrated' centre offering all-year and full-day provision for all children aged one to six

Preschool class (förskoleklass): for six year olds before starting school at the age of seven. This is usually located in a school and is considered part of the public school system

Preschool teachers (förskolelärare): work in preschools and preschool class settings

Chapter 5 - Country Report Denmark

After-school centres (fritidshjem): for children aged six to ten years, sometimes older

Childminder (dagplejer): provide childminding services for children aged zero to three years

Childminding (dagpleje): family day care catering for children from 26 weeks to three years

Day-care centres (dagtilbud): usually run as age-integrated institutions (aldersintegrerede institutioner) - for children from three months to six years (sometimes up to twelve years)

Kindergarten (børnehaver): for children from three to six years

Nurseries (vuggestuer): for children from 26 weeks to six years

Pedagogue or educator (pædagog): the lead personnel in all day care facilities

Pedagogue or educator assistant (pædagogmedhjælper): support pedagogue or educators in their work in day care facilities

School free time facilities (skolefritidsordninger SFOs): school-based after-school care

Chapter 6 - Country Report Norway

Family kindergartens (familiebarnehager): childminding or family day care service

Kindergartens (barnehager): half-day or full-day full-year service for children one to six years

Open kindergartens (åpen barnehager): drop-in centres for parent and child

Out-of-school care (skolefritidsordningen, or SFOs): leisure time activities for school-aged children (aged six to eleven) before and after school

Chapter 7 - Country Report Slovenia

Education-based childminder (vzgojno-varstvena družina): preschool type of services, as provision falls under the same national curriculum as preschools. The provision is provided at the childminder's home

Independent preschool (samostojni vrtec): preschool centres may also be provided privately and are eligible for public funding

Occasional childminder (občasno varstvo na domu): preschool teachers or contractors with at least secondary education or five years experience in education may provide ECEC in the child's own home. Parents pay the entirety of this service

Out-of-school services: those provided outwith school hours

Preschool (vrtec): full-time services provided by the local municipality are available to all children from one to six years old (when they begin school). Publicly provided preschools may be organised as independent units or may be attached to primary schools (vrtec pri osnovni šoli)

Registered childminder (registriran varuh predšolskih otrok): registered with the Ministry of Education and Sport if they meet particular requirements. They may provide childcare only and not educational programmes

Chapter 8 - Country Report France

Caisses des allocations familiales (CAFs): work with communes and non-profit organizations to develop ECEC at the local level, and distribute family allowances and subsidies for childcare

Child assistants (ATSEM): auxiliary staff in the école maternelle

Children's nurses (puéricultrices): work in the centre-based services

Child educators (éducateurs de jeunes enfants): work in the centre-based services

Centre-based care:

  • crèches: centres receiving children on a permanent basis
  • crèches collectives: run by municipalities, departments or non-profit organisations
  • crèches parentales: run by parent cooperatives
  • crèche d'entreprise: employer crèches, mostly in the public sector and hospitals
  • centres multi-accueil: offers full-time, part-time and emergency places
  • haltes garderies: centres providing part-time and occasional care; operated by municipalities and non-profit providers; often for non-working parents or for parents who work non-standard hours
  • jardins d'énfants: commercial centres for two to six year olds

Family day care, or childminding (assistantes maternelle):

  • licensed childminders (assistantes maternelles agrées): care for one to three children in the provider's home
  • childminding networks (crèche familiale): networks for individual childminders to provide collective care

Nursery school (école maternelle): pre-primary education for children aged three to six (some two year olds); part of the state education system

National Family Allowance Fund (Caisse Nationale des Allocations Familiales - CNAF): partly funds childcare, by the public agency responsible for family policy

Nursing assistants (auxiliaires de puériculture) : work in the centre-based services

In-home caregivers (garde à domicile): care in the child's home; not subject to the same regulations as childminders

Out of school services (centre de loisirs sans hébergement): leisure time centres for children outside of school hours and on Wednesday afternoons

Teachers in the école maternelle (professeurs des écoles): work in the school system

Chapter 9 - Country Report Netherlands

Day nurseries (kinderdagverblijf): for children from six to eight weeks of age until their fourth birthday who might attend week days from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. These may be run as either private-for-profit or not-for-profit businesses and a number are part of childcare company chains

Family day care with registered childminders (gastouderopvang): for children from six weeks to twelve years of age. Flexible childcare in a family setting, usually in the childminder's home, is also offered

Out- of- school care (buitenschoolse opvang): for children from four to twelve years of age who are attending primary school. Since 2007, the school board is required by law to organize this type of childcare before and after school, on non- teaching days such as teacher training days and in school holidays (excluding public holidays)

Playgroups (peuterspeelzaal): for children from two and four years who can attend two mornings or afternoons a week. These institutions' registration and inspection are the responsibility of municipalities


Email: Gita Anand

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