Den norske mor og barn-undersøkelsen. Variasjon i barnehagekvalitet. Beskrivelser fra første datainnsamling fra barnehagene.

Lekhal, R.
Vartun, M.
Gustavson, K.
Helland, S. S.
Wang, M. V.
Schjølber, S.
Nasjonalt Folkehelseinstitut, Oslo.


The purpose of this publication is to present preliminary results of the variation in quality of daycare centres for 5-year-olds in a selection of Norwegian daycare centres (barnehager). The findings in the report will form the basis for further analysis in order to gain more knowledge about the quality of Norwegian daycare centres. More specifically, the study seeks to identify the variations in 1) the structural conditions of the daycare centres (e.g. organisation, group size, pedagogical profile and differences in the staffing), and 2) the pedagogical practice and procedural quality (e.g. conversations and cooperation between parents and kindergartens as well as cooperation and the environment at the daycare centres) as well as 3) the differences and similarities between children at the daycare centres with regard to special needs, friendships and general adaptation to the daycare centre.


The report presents four main findings: 1) The study of variation in structural conditions at daycare centres shows that the majority of daycare managers (90.5%) are qualified early childhood educators (preschool teachers). Of the 9.5% who have another type of qualification, 4.8% have another pedagogical qualification, whereas the remaining 4.7% have completed a lower level of education. 2) The study of variation in pedagogical practices and indicators for procedural quality shows that there is great variation in how daycare managers structure the work in departments, and in how much emphasis they put on the pedagogical practice and routines for observation and identification of the children's skills. For example, variation is linked to the pedagogical practice of the daycare centres, the pedagogical content in the children's everyday life, and the daycare centres' routines for regular observation and identification of the children's skills. 3) The study of inequalities and common characteristics among 5-year-olds at daycare centres shows great variations in development factors among the 5-year-olds who are represented in the study. According to the information reported, about 15% of the 5-year-olds have specific needs. The most common issues are restlessness and lack of concentration (4.5%) and delayed speech and language development (4.3%). This is followed by emotional difficulties (3%) and behavioural problems (2.8%).


The report is based on data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). MoBa is a longitudinal, population-based cohort study. The report builds on the pilot stage of MoBa, in which a questionnaire was sent to mothers and heads of department at daycare centres. Out of 8,478 questionnaires, 1,681 were completed by both mothers and heads of department. The questions address socio-economic and demographic background conditions, food habits, use of drugs and alcohol, somatic factors as well as mental health. Moreover, the study includes questions about the child's development, skills and general behaviour. The questionnaires also address structural qualities and indicators for procedural and pedagogical variation as well as quality status at the daycare centres for children aged 5 years.

The mothers who completed the questionnaire in the pilot stage do not represent a random sample of mothers of young children. They differ from other mothers by having a higher level of education, by being older and by being less likely to live alone at the time of birth than mothers in the general population. The authors stress that the results are preliminary.


Lekhal, R., Vartun, M., Gustavson, K., Helland, S. S., Wang, M. V. & Schjølber, S. (2013): Den norske mor og barn-undersøkelsen. Variasjon i barnehagekvalitet. Beskrivelser fra første datainnsamling fra barnehagene. Rapport. Nasjonalt Folkehelseinstitut, Oslo.