Leadership for learning in the preschool: Preschool managers’ perspectives on strategies and actions in the systematic quality work

Håkansson, J.
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 47(2):241–258.


The aim of the study is to contribute to the understanding of how kindergarten coordinators manage the systematic quality work conducted in kindergartens. The three research questions are: 1) How is the kindergarten coordinators’ management of the systematic quality work affected by external and internal conditions? 2) What strategies and specific actions do kindergarten coordinators adopt in the systematic quality work? 3) How do kindergarten coordinators address employee knowledge gaps regarding systematic quality work?


The requirement for systematic quality work in Swedish kindergartens does not in itself guarantee quality development, professional development and learning. This is determined at a local level through the kindergarten coordinators’ ability to balance external requirements with internal needs. The study shows that the kindergarten coordinators in the sample are influenced by several external and internal factors. The most important factor is differences in the employees’ level of education and the attitudes and knowledge they have developed as a result of their education. Primarily, the kindergarten coordinators manage this through organisational solutions, in that employees who are specifically responsible for quality work collaborate with their colleagues on development and learning. The author believes that such an emphasis on the organisational work can hinder quality work in kindergartens in the long term. He concludes that kindergarten coordinators try to balance loyalty to the municipal quality requirements with the independence of their own kindergarten in the systematic quality work.


Through qualitative interviews with Swedish kindergarten coordinators, the authors seek to highlight the coordinators’ attitudes towards the practices surrounding quality work in kindergartens and the leadership role they perform while conducting this work. The sample consists of 11 kindergarten coordinators from a total of 32 Swedish kindergartens. The authors conducted a content analysis of the interviews in which they compared the coordinators’ statements.


Håkansson, J. (2019). “Leadership for learning in the preschool: Preschool managers’ perspectives on strategies and actions in the systematic quality work”. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 47(2):241–258.