Early childhood education in Austria
Early childhood education institutions – such as kindergartens – are the first education institutions in a child’s life. Education and care in early childhood education institutions lay the foundation for success in later life in terms of both education and employment. Indeed, empirical educational research and economics clearly show that the first years of a child’s education are key for their subsequent educational path and that successful models at the early childhood education stage also have the greatest economic impact.
With regard to the constitutional division of competences in Austria, legislation and execution in matters pertaining to the early childhood education system are in general the responsibility of the federal states under Article 14 (4) (b) of the Federal Constitutional Law (Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz, B-VG).
This means that the federal states regulate the framework for early childhood education institutions and fund these institutions accordingly.
Since 2008, however, the Federal Government has continuously invested in the expansion of the early childhood education and care sector, in the compulsory free kindergarten year prior to starting school and in support for early language development on the basis of the Article 15a B-VG Agreement with the federal states.
For more information, please visit Agreement pursuant to Article 15a B-VG on early childhood education
The Federal Government is responsible for the standardised training of kindergarten teachers at Training Institutes for Early Childhood Education and for all educational, content and vocational matters at the Training Institutes for Early Childhood Education, Training Institutes for Social Pedagogy and at the new College for Teaching Assistant Careers.
For more information, please visit Early childhood education/social pedagogy as a career