fredag 5 februari 2010

Open Preschool: History

I've written before on the blog about open preeschool. In this post I will give some more facts about the Open Preschools.
The first Open Preschool opened in 1972 in cooperation with the Child Health Center and the Social Services following a proposition from Barnstugeutredningen (BU). The aim was to reach children who were not enrolled in Preschool and their parents with advice & ideas about the importance of play. Also, giving medical and social advice was, and still is a big part of their agenda.
Focus today is on preventative work and promoting healthy choices. This is meant to be carried out in an accesible, open, flexible & professional pedagogical setting. Sometimes this is done in cooperation with personell from the regular childcare services, Social services and Health Centrals. Any adult can accompany the child to Open Preschool, it doesn't need to be a parent. This adult will be responsible for any child he or she brings to the Open Preschool and should be given the opportunity to meet other adult to interact and share a sense of community with.

Activites can also put focus on serving the needs of different groups such as fathers, pregnant women & couples, families of adoptees or multiples, new borns, single parents or unusually young parents.

In 1984 the Open Preeschools became eligble for State support and with that the numbers of Open Preeschools rose. There were 200 in 1984, in 1991 there were 1 644. But then the State grant disapeared the number of municipal Open Preschools fell and by 2004 there were 447. That year about half of the swedish municipalities had no Open Preschool activities at all.

From 2005 those municipalities that has put a cap on childcare fees for the parents, so called Maximum Fees, can get a State grant for salaries and training of personell working at municipal Open Preschools.

Open Preschools are under the supervision of the Skolverket (State School Board).(1)

In 2008, the Open Preschools got about 290 million Swedish kronor. That's 39 710 000 USD or 25 110 000 GBP

1. Fakta öppen Förskola;jsessionid=05C07D9DCB7078D29ABB078139E5D396