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Quality does not meet expectations in daycare, reports national assessment

CPH Post reporter
May 12th, 2023


A professional report on the country’s ‘vuggestuer’ finds that only 13 percent provide a service that could be considered high quality

Not a damning report, but room for improvement (photo: flickr/Sonderborg.dk)

Some 13 percent of Danish daycare institutions for toddlers offer a good quality of service, 49 percent are sufficient, and 38 percent are insufficient, according to a new professional assessment of the country’s ‘vuggestuer’.

The study assessing the quality of municipal daycare for infants aged 0–2 was carried out for the Ministry of Children and Education by Denmark’s Evaluation Institute (EVA) and the National Research and Analysis Center for Welfare (VIVE).

It is the first such assessment of the quality of the country’s vuggestue daycare institutions.

More help for struggling toddlers needed
According to Dina Madsen, the head of the department for daycare at EVA, there is much to praise at the vuggestuer, but she would like to see more provisions for helping children who are struggling.

“Institutions with insufficient quality have staff who are friendly and welcoming, but we would like to have seen staff who also help children who are angry or upset by putting into words the child’s feelings and helping the child further,” she said.

“There are not enough play areas, or enough toys at the children’s disposal. The children don’t get enough time to immerse themselves in the games.”

Worrying, but not seriously so
“There is no way around it. The results indicate the quality is too low. I think it’s worrying, and I think you must do something about it,” Andreas Rasch-Christensen, the head of research at VIA University College, told DR.

However, Rasch-Christensen assures parents they don’t have to seriously worry – for example, about their welfare – when they send their little ones off to an institution.

“When a quality is judged to be only sufficient, it means that what is going on is qualified, but that, for example, there is a lack of work in building good relationships between the children,” he said.

Minister to take action
The children and education minister, Mattias Tesfaye, will send a letter to all municipalities emphasising they are responsible for the quality of daycare.

“The results of the study worry me. I am in dialogue with the parties in the area about what is needed to strengthen the quality. More staff will not be enough to secure an improvement,” the minister said.

READ MORE: Not quite Europe’s cheapest childcare, but not far off!


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