Chapter

Publicly available and supported early education and care for all in Norway<sup>1</sup>

Kari Jacobsen and Gerd Vollset

in Childcare markets

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781847429339
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307679 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847429339.003.0007
Publicly available and supported early education and care for all in Norway1

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This chapter outlines the current situation and the recent development of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in Norway, focusing on more recent history. In particular the chapter focuses on the introduction of a legal right to a place from the age of one in 2009 and the change of the financing schemes in 2011 which have supported the Norwegian childcare market. Norway has managed to harness the talents of not-for-profit providers alongside public bodies to deliver an accessible ECEC service system. Both municipal and non-municipal early childhood education and care institutions receive equal economic treatment, including funding via block grants from the state administrated by the municipalities. These also operate a coordinated admissions process and there is a maximum price ceiling on parental fees. The system offers parents choice, but outside of a for-profit system. This was achieved by using a wide-reaching regulatory system and judiciously targeted – and generous – funding in line with this system. The two authors describe how this came about as a result of a strong vision on the part of government and Norwegian society on how to ensure equity and quality for children and their parents.

Keywords: Municipality; Not-for-profit; Equal economic treatment; Maximum price ceiling; Block grants; Recent history; Finance systems

Chapter.  5906 words. 

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