Daycare under the magnifying glass in Copenhagen – The Post

Daycare under the magnifying glass in Copenhagen

A new monitoring system has allowed the capital to get a better overview of its childcare instutions

Fostering social relations between children and adults is a vital part of an institution’s work (photo: pxhere)
May 29th, 2019 9:33 am| by Stephen Gadd

Copenhagen Municipality has been taking a long hard look at the standard of daycare available to parents of children in the capital.

According to a report that TV2 has had access to, there are serious reservations about 5.5 percent of them, or 22 out of the 400 institutions investigated.

Copenhagen Municipality was one of the few places in Denmark implement a new and more thorough kind of monitoring system in 2017 concentrating on three main areas: ‘Social relations – children/adult contact’, ‘Inclusion and community’, and ‘Language initiatives’.

These are monitored through onsite observations made by the municipality’s pedagogical consultants.

Three other areas are also looked at: ‘Co-operation with parents’, ‘Context’, and ‘Demands and reflections on a methodical system for the pedagogical practice’.

Institutions are then graded using a ‘traffic light’ system, where red is critical and means there is a need to implement new initiatives or amend the present ones.

Red alert
Red lights flashed especially in the category ‘Social relations – children/adult contact’, an area that experts regard as one of the most important in a child’s development.

The total results reveal that around 60 percent of Copenhagen’s institutions are classed green, 35 percent amber and 5 percent red.

A number of comments were noted. In one institution there were “a lot of small conflicts that aren’t noticed that the children themselves are responsible for solving, which engenders an atmosphere that it is the strongest that win”.

The staff of another institution were criticised: “There are signs that their level of knowledge is not sufficient and has to be remedied before they admit children under two.”

Elsewhere, it was also noted that “children are being met with far too high demands and expectations and you are placing them in exposed conditions without intending to”.

Full disclosure
Copenhagen Municipality has decided to make the full reports available on its website.

Kate Obeid, the district head of the municipality’s children and youth authority, is pleased with the new system.

“This gives us a completely different basis for evaluating what is going on and what the correct advice should be to the pedagogues and institutional heads,” she told TV2.