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Manuscript deadline
31 December 2021

Cover image - European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (EECERJ)

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (EECERJ)

Special Issue Editor(s)

Eva Pölzl-Stefanec, University of Graz
[email protected]

Oresta Karpenko, Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University
[email protected]

Wilfried Smidt, University of Innsbruck
[email protected]

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Educational Quality in Institutions of Early Childhood Education in East-Central Europe – Conceptualizations and Key Findings

Background and Concept

The research debate about quality in Early Childhood Education (ECE) primarily focuses on conceptualizations and key findings from parts of Europe (particularly Northern, Western and Southern Europe) and North America. In this regard educational quality in ECE is often defined as an interplay of structural quality, orientation quality and process quality (Harms et al., 2015). A high number of studies show, how important educational quality in ECE is (Ansari & Pianta, 2018; Howes et al., 1995; Pianta et al., 2020; Sylva et al., 2003). Research indicates, that children benefit from a high-quality ECE (Goble et al., 2019). The attendance of high-quality institutions of ECE, such as day care centres and preschools, has an influence on children´s learning and development in the long term and can even contribute to reduce educational disparities (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network, 2005; Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2002). These patterns of findings are well documented.

However, less is known about educational quality in institutions of ECE in East-Central Europe. According to Magocsi (2007) East-Central Europe can be divided into a northern, an Alpine-Carpathian and a Balkan zone. In East-Central Europe, ECE services comprise a variety of institutions types across private and public sectors. Nurseries, kindergartens and preschools are either government-funded or operated as a private service. In addition, the qualifications of early childhood educators vary widely from formal qualifications to master's degrees (European Commission, 2014; Oberhuemer & Schreyer, 2018). Furthermore, the institutionalization of childhood in the early years is constantly increasing and the attendance of institutions of ECE is a regular part in the biography of most children (European Commission, 2014).

We are particularly interested in contributions that focus on concepts and methods to achieve, improve, and further develop educational quality in ECE. In addition, we welcome debates about diversity, gender, inclusion and transitions into the formal school system. The special issue aims to consider research from the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

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Submission Instructions

Aim and Timetable

The aim of the special issue Educational Quality in Institutions of Early Childhood Education in East-Central Europe - Conceptualizations and Key Findings is to provide an overview of the discussion about conceptualizations and key findings on educational quality in institutions of ECE in East-Central Europe. Proposals should be submitted to [email protected] 

  • May 31st, 2021: Submission of 250-300-word proposals by e-mail to Eva Pölzl-Stefanec at [email protected]
  • July 31st 2021: Abstract proposal decision sent to author/s
  • December 31st 2021: First full paper submission due for review.
  • January 2022 – June 2022: Review and revision process
  • July 2022: Final submission
  • 2023: Publication available

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