Barnehagetilbudet til barn med særlige behov: Undersøkelse av tilbudet til barn med særlige behov under opplæringspliktig alder.

Wendelborg, C.
Caspersen, J.
Kittelsaa, A.M.
Svendsen, S.
Haugset, A.S.
Kongsvik, T.
Reiling, R.B.
NTNU Samfunnsforskning.


This report aims to map the content and the organisation of services provided to 3-5-year-old children with special needs in kindergarten (barnehage). The report specifically researches: (a) How does workflow, administrative procedures and time spent on administrative procedures affect the quality of the offered services? (b) What consequences have of the shift from individual based grants to block grants had in Norway? and (c) What characterises the services offered to children with special needs and children with disabilities?



The overall conclusion of the study is that children with a diagnosis and clearly defined needs have an easier time getting the help that they are entitled to by law. This raises the question of whether children with the same needs but with less clearly defined conditions are receiving the help they are entitled to. The study shows that there is large variation in case processing times, and that private kindergartens experience a longer case processing time than municipal kindergartens. Furthermore, case procedures seem to vary. Children with a clear diagnosis experience a more straightforward case procedure. The study does not find that the transition to block grants has had any significant impact on the resources used on children with special needs. However, kindergarten staff have experienced that the services offered to children with less clearly defined needs have been insufficient. Children with special needs primarily attend municipal kindergartens even though the percentage of children with special needs in private kindergartens is steadily rising. This is due to increased coverage in public kindergartens, which ensures a place for all children. Encouraging parents to accept municipal offers can be seen as steering children with special needs into municipal kindergartens; these parents therefore do not experience the same freedom of choice as other parents. Children with special needs are predominantly included with other children in the kindergartens. Parents of children with special needs who do not have a clear diagnosis and professionals working with these children express concern about the services and procedures offered to these children. The authors believe that this subject matter needs to be studied further.



The study is divided into five sub-studies. The results of these studies have been combined to answer the research questions.

The first study consists of visits to ten municipalities where interviews were carried out with 76 owners of kindergartens, PPR employees (educational and psychological counselling services), heads of municipal and private kindergartens, special-needs teachers, assistants, guardians as well as representatives from regional authorities. Additionally, the 10 most recent case files at the PPR of each municipality, 100 in total, were examined. The second study used data from 988 questionnaires from among kindergarten heads and owners. 150 PPR leaders filled out questionnaires for the third study. The fourth study is based on register data from the Norwegian Municipality-State-Reporting (KOSTRA), annual reports from kindergartens as well as data from Statistics Norway's (SSB) data bank for the period 2005-2013. The fifth study includes questionnaires completed by 239 parents, in conjunction with similar, already existing data from 1999 (984 parents) and 2009 (336 parents). The material is treated partly by statistical analysis, and partly by qualitative analyses of the interviews and the comment sections of the questionnaires.


Wendelborg, C., Caspersen, J., Kittelsaa, A.M., Svendsen, S., Haugset, A.S., Kongsvik, T. & Reiling, R.B. (2015). Barnehagetilbudet til barn med særlige behov: Undersøkelse av tilbudet til barn med særlige behov under opplæringspliktig alder. NTNU Samfunnsforskning.

Financed by

Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, NTNU Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, Trøndelag Forskning og Utvikling (TFoU) and Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU).