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Agreement on Early Childhood Education

Based on the division of competences for the early childhood education system in Austria, which assigns responsibility to the federal states, an agreement is being concluded between the Federal Government and the federal states pursuant to Article 15a of the Federal Constitutional Law (Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz, B-VG) in order that the Federal Government provides investment, which is linked to certain conditions for the federal states. This agreement ultimately regulates the procedures and the conditions/obligations related to receipt of the special subsidies. Special subsidies are additional financial resources made available to the federal states by the Federal Government.

In order to give children in early childhood education institutions the best possible start to their education journey, to improve educational opportunities and to strengthen early childhood education institutions in their role as a child’s first education institution, the Federal Government is continuing to invest in the early childhood education sector, in the form of an agreement pursuant to Article 15a B-VG between the Federal Government and the federal states on early childhood education, for the 2018/19 to 2021/22 kindergarten years.

The current agreement includes the following priorities:

  • Standardised, compact language proficiency assessment tool: BESK-DaZ KOMPAKT
  • Increased support for language development in four year olds 
  • Drive forward training for kindergarten teachers and language support staff
  • Compulsory teaching of fundamental values
  • Ban on wearing a headscarf in early childhood education institutions
  • Clear definition of the objectives of education and care through the specification of key educational documents 
  • Increased focus on the interface between kindergarten and school
  • Increased monitoring and cooperation between the Federal Government and federal states
  • Constant and efficient (impact) evaluation
  • Continuation of the mandatory free kindergarten year for five year olds
  • Focus on the expansion of early childhood education programmes for children under three
  • Make opening hours more flexible, extend opening hours, and improve the general framework and childcare ratio
  • Promotion of childminders as an alternative to early childhood education institutions

 Federal Law Gazette (BGBl.) 15a Agreement (RIS) (in German only)