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Early Childhood Education

About the Center for Early Childhood Education

It its broadest sense, the field of early childhood education addresses questions relating to the care, upbringing, and education of children from birth until the end of primary school, both in families and in childcare institutions (Paetzold, 2001). In a narrower sense (and in conjunction with international discourse on the subject), early childhood education focuses on institutional educational work with children under the age of six, or until the beginning of primary school. As a sub-discipline of the educational sciences, the field of early childhood education therefore encompasses all aspects of elementary education in early childhood (Meyer & Walter-Laager, 2012).

Main areas of research at the Center for Early Childhood Education:

  • Quality in the Education and Care of Young Children
  • Learning and Teaching Processes in Early Childhood
  • Professionalization

Preparatory Course for the External Students Exam at Training Institutes for Early Childhood Education

Preparatory Course for the External Students Exam at Training Institutes for Early Childhood Education

We are thrilled to announce that the preparatory course for the External Students Exam (Extremist:innenprüfung) at Training Institutes for Early Childhood Education will be held during the 2021/22 academic year for the third time.

Additional information can be found here.

To register, please send an email to: elisabeth.reicher-pirchegger(at)uni-graz.at

Congratulations to our graduates

Congratulations to our graduates for their successful completion of the External Students Exam at Training Institutes for Early Childhood Education in Carinthia. We wish you all the best!

In January 2020, 12 additional graduates passed the exam - we’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your success and wish you all the best in your future career!

Current News

Mathematics is ever-present in children’s daily lives in nurseries, kindergartens and daycares. The booklet “Promoting Early Mathematical Education” includes short, basic texts and reflection exercises intended to help educational professionals integrate all facets of mathematics into everyday educational practice.

A printed copy is available at verkauf(at)oeh-servicecenter.at

Both common sense and science agree: The quality of the interactions we experience day-in and day-out determines our sense of well-being. The GrazIAS 0-6 scale can be used for both external and self-evaluation to rate the quality of interactions in childcare and early childhood education institutions outside of the home.

Our offer:

  • External evaluation of childcare facilities by trained professionals. Institutions which would would like to collaborate and implement our digital scale can contact grazias(at)uni-graz.at. All collaborations are regulated by contract.
  • A printed copy of the scale is available upon request at the ÖH Serviccenter Graz (Harrachgasse 23, 8010 Graz). Orders can be sent to verkauf(at)oeh-servicecenter.at (cost: €19.70/copy, shipping not included).
  • Training institutions, daycare centers, nurseries, kindergartens and individual educational professionals also have the opportunity to complete a self-assessment using an automated report. These advanced further training materials can be found at https://krippenqualitaet.uni-graz.at/de/ and https://sprachliche-bildung.uni-graz.at/de/

We’re happy to receive your questions, concerns and requests at grazas(at)uni-graz.at


Recent international research findings show that the impact of integrated language instruction is closely correlated with the design of interactions between educational professionals and children. The project “Linguistic Development in Kindergartens” aims to contribute to quality assurance and development in linguistic instruction in kindergartens. The project focuses on integrating linguistic education into everyday pedagogical life, including music and movement, building and construction play, and eating. The resultant educational materials have been made available to educational specialists. These materials include films which depict high interactional quality in language instruction.

As the number of child care and education facilities in European member states steadily increases, the quality assurance and development of such facilities is becoming ever more important. The Erasmus+ Project “Qualimentary” focuses on the implementation of quality assurance processes for interactions in childcare and early childhood education intuitions. Participating project partners include a large network of experienced research institutions (with leading institutions located in Graz, Italy, Slovenia, Portugal, Hungary and Germany). The Erasmus+ KA2 professional development project lasts from September 2019 until August 2021 and is divided into three separate phases.


“Scientific Contributions to the field of Early childhood Education” (Elementarpädagogische Forschungsbeiträge: EIFo) is a scientific journal (open access) which publishes current research articles in the field of early childhood education. The journal publishes articles from completed research projects and projects currently in progress. The journal’s mission is to foster theoretical advancement in the field of early childhood education and to make scientific knowledge widely available. Originally published for elementary education institutions in Austria, articles focus primarily on German-speaking regions. Submissions from the entire DACH region are therefore very welcome and highly encouraged! The EIFo is a scientific journal which features scholarly work in the field of early childhood education focusing on daycare centers, kindergartens, the professionalization of educational professionals, and the school and home lives of children in the first six years of life.

Recent publications

  • Eichen, L. & Krenn-Wache, M. (2020). Qualifizierungskonzepte an Bildungsanstalten für Elementarpädagogik - Die 5-jährige berufsbildende höhere Schule und das Kolleg für Elementarpädagogik. In: Andreas Paschon; Nina Hover-Reisner & Wilfried Smidt (Hrsg.). Elementarpädagogik im Aufbruch – Einblicke und Ausblicke. (S. 217-237). Münster: Waxmann (Band 6: Beiträge zur Bildungsforschung, herausgegeben von der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Forschung und Entwicklung im Bildungswesen (ÖFEB)).
  • Bruns, J., Carlsen, M., Eichen, L., Erfjord, I., & Hundeland P.S. (2020). Situational Perception in Mathematics (SPiM)—Results of a Cross-Country Study in Austria and Norway. In: Carlsen M., Erfjord I., Hundeland P. (eds). Mathematics Education in the Early Years. (S. 317-332). Springer, Cham.
  • Eichen, L., Pfiffner, M. R., & Walter-Laager, C. (2020). Beobachten und dokumentieren mit dem KinderDiagnoseTool - KiDiT®. KiTa aktuell. (S. 43-44). Köln: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Pölzl-Stefanec, E. & Geißler, C. (2020): Partizipative Praxis in Krippen ermöglichen – Haltungen und Einstellungen von PädagogInnen. [Enabling participatory practice in ECE- attitudes and opinions of early childhood educators] Frühe Bildung, 9(1), 9-17. https://doi.org/10.1026/-2191-9186/a000463
  • Pölzl-Stefanec, E. (2020). Kritische Perspektiven auf die Ausbildung von Kindergartenpädagogin-nen und Kindergartenpädagogen im Bereich der ersten drei Lebensjahre [Critical perspectives on the training of early childhood educator in the first three years of life]. In Nina Hover-Reisner, Andreas Paschon & Wilfried Smidt (Eds.), Elementarpädagogik in Österreich – Ein-blicke und Ausblicke. Münster: Waxmann-Verlag.

Additional publications can be found here.




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