In Norway, almost all children attend a preschool between the ages of one and five, with more than 5,000 of them dotted around the country.
Due to the importance of kindergartens in Norway, parents and prospective parents will want to know whether they are any good or not, especially since they can charge just over 3,000 kroner a month for a spot.
Figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Education have revealed parents’ thoughts on what’s good and what can be worked on when it comes to the country’s preschools.
Overall, parents are largely satisfied with the country’s daycares. 61 percent of parents who responded to the education authority’s survey said they were very satisfied, and 31 percent said they were fairly happy. Meanwhile, only two percent said they were dissatisfied.
Parents are especially pleased with the child’s well being and the quality of the staff available. 97 percent said they were confident in the staff working at preschools and that kindergarten benefited their child.
The directorate also pointed to a survey from 2021 that showed that parents in Norway were generally happier with kindergarten in Norway than the other Nordics.
Of the more than 120,000 parents that took part in the survey, those with the youngest children were happiest with kindergartens in the country.
In addition to the staff’s competence, parents were also impressed with how the system for picking up and dropping their children off worked.
The less positive
While parents were, on the whole, pleased with kindergarteners, there were some areas where satisfaction was slipping, or where there could be room for improvement.
Parents were less happy with hygiene practices in preschools than they were last year. Hygiene satisfaction dipped from 88 percent compared to 85 percent the before.
Additionally, only seven out of ten were happy with the kindergartens’ food. The year before, only 62 percent were content with food in preschools.
Another area where parents think kindergartens can be improved is the number of staff available. 16.5 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied with teacher numbers.
Newspaper VG has reported that around 30 percent of preschools face staff shortages. Preschools are required to have at least one teacher with the correct pedagogical qualifications per 7 children under the age of three or one per 14 children over the age of three.
Tonje Brenna, education minister, told VG that the government was working to improve the ratio of kindergarten leaders to kids.
“It (the statistics) just means that we must intensify the work to increase the proportion of educators in kindergartens. The municipal economy has been strengthened in this year’s state budget, but we must do more to approach fulfil the requirements,” Brenna told VG.
One more thing worth noting is that parents were around five percent less satisfied with toys, equipment and activities offered at preschools run by municipalities than with privately run kindergartens.
What you need to know about barnehage in Norway
Barnehage, literally meaning kindergarten, are run privately or by the municipality. Regardless of whether they are run privately or by local authorities, preschools cannot charge more than 3,050 kroner per month for a place.
Additionally, there are many different types of kindergartens that cater to specific needs. For example, there is everything from half-day to open-air operations that focus on outdoor learning.