Possibilities and challenges in sustained capacity-building in early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions: ECEC leaders’ perspectives

Omdal, H. & Roland, P.


The study investigates how kindergartens can become learning organisations capable of mastering future innovations by focusing on core activities, implementation drivers, leadership, and collective systems of collaboration.


The researchers point out that the ten informants were coordinators of kindergartens that had succeeded in their efforts to become continuously learning organisations. The results therefore confirm relevant scientific theory. It is therefore difficult to problematise the theoretical basis based on the participants’ answers.

The use of systems for collaboration and sustained professional development/learning and guidance when implementing new steering documents, ensured that the organisation was in continuous development. Variation in the educational background of the kindergarten staff is highlighted as a challenge in the work involving capacity building in the organisation. Being pressed for time is highlighted as a challenge in the work of creating professional learning environments in the organisation. In conclusion, the authors emphasise that the study shows the need for Norwegian kindergartens to gain access to preventive innovations, such as the one that was the focus of this study, to ensure that all kindergarten children experience a good educational and developmental environment.


Kindergarten coordinators from ten randomly selected kindergartens in Norway participated in the study. All kindergartens were participants in Being Together, an innovation programme that aims to help organisations become learning organisations that are able to implement innovations, such as new framework plans for kindergartens. All of the coordinators held at least one relevant bachelor’s degree. The data collection was conducted through semi-structured interviews with kindergarten coordinators about their subjective experiences of reality. The topics touched on in the interview included transformational leadership, implementation drivers, sustainable development, the incorporation of new innovations into existing ones, continuous capacity building in the employee group, and the building of professional learning environments in kindergartens. The responses were then thematically categorised.


Omdal, H. & Roland, P. (2020). "Possibilities and challenges in sustained capacity-building in early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions: ECEC leaders’ perspectives". European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 28(4):568-581.