European Quality Label for Early Childhood Educational Institutions gip-guetesiegel-rechte-seite_201803010137241.gif

Since October 2017, seven different institutions from Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Austria have been working on developing a European Quality Label for pre-school and nursery education. The label for kindergartens and nursery schools represents an important cornerstone for high-quality work in early childhood education and care. Once the project is finalised, it serves especially to enhance public visibility of quality of education and care institutions and supports quality assurance.

Even though quality assurance measures and certifications exist for many different areas, children’s education and care has been largely neglected. However, due to the great significance of early education and care for children’s development, it is of utmost importance to ensure high-quality standards already during the first years of institutional care for children. As the concept of quality – above all within the educational realm – is perceived or defined very differently, in a first step of our project we strive to determine how kindergarten teachers and educators as well as parents and supporting institutions assess different quality criteria for children’s care and how important these are for the different groups.

With the help of a comprehensive questionnaire survey among the stated target groups we are able to specify regional or country-specific criteria and to take them into account when further developing the quality label. Based on a so-called criteria catalogue and country-specific particularities contained therein, we also develop a handbook to show specifically how these criteria can be validated and how a detailed analysis in institutions for children’s education and care enables determining quality of educational and care work. Thereby we focus not only on enhancing visibility of quality standards but especially aim at pinpointing the institutions’ strengths and weaknesses in the different areas in order to establish recommendations for teachers and their scope for action.

We project partners are firmly convinced that this project represents an important cornerstone for high-quality work in early childhood education and care. The objective is to guarantee access to a “standardized” quality label for all EU countries and with this to make way for improving quality, making it visible and permanently-secured.

  • April – May 2018: Questionnaire surveys in all partner countries.
  • Autumn 2018: Analysis of questionnaires and setting of quality criteria for the label – drawing up a criteria catalogue for evaluating teaching quality in early childhood education and care institutions.
  • Starting in March 2018, a handbook for the quality label is developed containing specific measures for the certification process, guidelines and educational recommendations for action. The handbook is the project’s main outcome and summarizes all relevant information for the subsequent application of the quality label in the partner countries.
  • Starting in summer 2018, a strategy paper is developed holding concrete recommendations for political action for future quality assurance and quality improvement and dealing with the quality label’s integration into existing control structures. 
  • In June 2019, training for quality label auditors will take place where twelve auditors from the five partner countries will be trained to perform the certification process in the partner countries.
  • It is planned to hold a final conference in summer/autumn 2019, where the main results will be presented and there will be the possibility to discuss the quality label with stakeholders and important political decision-makers.  

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