Early Childhood Education around the World
Preschool education in Sweden is not federally funded, however it is regulated under the Social Services Act of 1980 (Parliament decides the aims and capacity of public child care; the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs dictates laws and proposals related to childcare nationwide). Pre-K programs are instead funded by local municipalities and by parents (only preschool for children aged six is free). The country published its first guidelines for preschool curriculum in 1988. Under these guidelines, preschools are part of community educational systems.
The Swedish plan states, “Knowledge is conquered through learning, a kind of learning that happens in different ways in different environments…. It is not only through the mind we learn, we are learning with the whole body. And everything we learn cannot be verbalized.” The curriculum of early childhood education in Sweden is based on humanistic traditions and integrates ideas of Fröbel, Rousseau, Key, and Dewey—children participate in language, arts, and communication activities. The age at which a child begins preschool is discretionary and available as early as one year; however, national law requires that children attend preschool through age seven.
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