The Early Childhood Education and Care Act and Implementation of the Policy of Integrating Kindergartens and Nursery Schools
Prior to the government’s decision to integrate kindergartens and nursery schools， pre-school education institutions in Taiwan included kindergartens， which were regulated by the Ministry of Education， and nursery schools， which were regulated by the Ministry of the Interior. After passing its third reading in the legislature， the Early Childhood Education and Care Act came into effect on January 1， 2011， and the categories of “kindergarten” and “nursery school” were consigned to history， being replaced by integrated “preschools” providing education and care for children aged 2 – 6; preschools fall under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and of the education bureaus of individual county and city governments. The Early Childhood Education and Care Act provided the legal basis for this integration of kindergartens and nursery schools. The first objective of the present study is to clarify the provisions of the Early Childhood Education and Care Act that relate to the integration of kindergartens and nursery schools. The study’s second objective is to examine， from the perspective of the Early Childhood Education and Care Act， the problems that have been faced by preschool education in Taiwan since the integration of kindergartens and nursery schools， and the effects that the integration has had. In order to achieve these research objectives， the study uses the documentary analysis method， collating reports， laws and regulations， official data， journal articles， online materials and other documents relating to the implementation of the kindergarten and nursery school integration policy. The study begins by outlining the evolution of government policy in relation to the integration of kindergartens and nursery schools， and presenting an overview of the legal basis for this integration – the Early Childhood Education and Care Act. The study then proceeds to examine， from the perspective of the Early Childhood Education and Care Act， the implementation of the integration process. On the basis of this examination， the study puts forward the following suggestions in relation to preschool education in Taiwan following the integration of nursery schools and kindergartens: (1) The educational authorities need to carefully review the provisions of preschool educational and care service provision contracts. (2) The training and appointment of preschool teachers needs to be more carefully coordinated， in order to solve the current problem of the supply of preschool teachers exceeding demand. (3) More attention must be paid to the treatment of qualified teachers at private preschools， in terms of salaries， welfare provision etc. (4) In order to realize the policy goal of “high-quality preschool education，” the government needs to pay more attention to the preschool assessment system.
|關鍵詞||學前教育、幼兒教育及照顧法、幼托整合政策、Preschool education、Early Childhood Education and Care Act、kindergarten and nursery school integration policy|