Sårbare barn i barnehagen – betydningen av kvalitet.

Brandlistuen, R.E.
Helland, S.S.
Evensen, L.A.
Schjølberg, S.
Tambs, K.
Aase, H.
Wang, M.V.
Oslo: Nasjonalt folkehelseinstitutt.


The study seeks to throw light on the relationship between quality at ECEC centres (barnehage) and vulnerable children, maladjusted children or children with language difficulties. In this study, vulnerable children are defined as children with a neurobiological risk, e.g. due to premature birth, low birth weight or a difficult temperament during infancy. If a child has a difficult temperament, this may result in the child crying a lot, being difficult to comfort or requiring a lot of attention. More specifically, the study examines the relationship between children’s wellbeing, early start at an ECEC centre, long days and structural and procedural quality.



The study shows that early start at an ECEC centre (barnehage) does not appear to influence behaviour and language development. However, long days at the ECEC centre (barnehage) do seem to affect behaviour and language development, especially for vulnerable children. Furthermore, there is a correlation between increasing quality targets and language development as well as behaviour — in particular in relation to vulnerable children. These results stand out compared to similar correlations for all children. Furthermore the study shows that long days at the ECEC centres may have negative consequences for vulnerable children, and that the quality of an ECEC centre may be of particular importance for vulnerable children. The study also shows a correlation between creative and physical play activities and language development — especially for vulnerable children. The study concludes that the correlations found between quality and development depend on the child’s dispositions. Poor quality at ECEC centres (barnehage) may have a negative impact on children’s development. Good quality seems to prevent the development of complications. Furthermore, the study concludes that future research should examine similar correlations for other groups of children.



The study uses extract data from a set of secondary data material — the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). The data comes from questionnaires sent to the mothers of 6871 children, and was collected over several years. The questionnaires were answered by mothers, and furthermore, information was gathered from ECEC centres (barnehage) and supplemented by a questionnaire for the pedagogical leader or a head of department. This data was analysed statistically according to whether there was a correlation between symptoms of language difficulties or behaviour on the one hand, and quality at the ECEC centre (barnehage) on the other.



Brandlistuen, R.E., Helland, S.S., Evensen, L.A., Schjølberg, S., Tambs, K., Aase, H. & Wang, M.V. (2015). Sårbare barn i barnehagen – betydningen av kvalitet. Oslo: Nasjonalt folkehelseinstitutt

Financed by

Norwegian Institute of Public Health