Digital quality assessment system (Valkea)

The statutory task of FINEEC is to develop the evaluation of early childhood education and to support early childhood education providers and private service providers in matters related to evaluation and quality management. As part of this task, FINEEC, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, will develop and produce a digital quality assessment system that can be used to collect information and produce analyzes that support the development of early childhood education at both local and national levels.

The estimated completion of the evaluation system is in 2023. A more detailed schedule will be announced later.

Objectives of the evaluation system

For early childhood education providers and private service providers, the assessment system offers

• clear evaluation criteria in the form of questionnaires and self-evaluation questions

• tools to implement voluntary data collection with desired queries

• easy-to-use analysis and reporting tools for sharing and utilizing the information collected at the local level (quality management and self-assessment)

• lightened workload by integrating existing data from national data resources into the system (Varda).

With the evaluation system FINEEC can

• produce consistent, reliable and cumulative information about the quality of early childhood education

• carry out external thematic and system evaluations on ECEC.

For stakeholders and citizens the system provides

• the possibility to review nationally collected data on the quality of ECEC.

The framework and theoretical basis for the system is laid out in the FINEEC document Guidelines and recommendations for evaluating the quality of early childhood education and care . This document presents quality indicators for early childhood education and care based on a division into structural and process-related factors of quality. The evaluation system is based on these indicators. In order to enable the collection of evaluation data the indicators must be further conceptualized as evaluation criteria. Through the conceptualization of evaluation criteria evaluation tools are created, which will then be used to conduct actual evaluation. The contents of the evaluation criteria are produced by an expert body appointed by FINEEC.

Schedule

The evaluation system is estimated to be completed in 2023. The evaluation tools developed on the basis of the evaluation criteria for the project were piloted nationally between November 2020 and March 2021. In the piloting, the functioning of the developed evaluation tools and the pedagogical evaluation based on them was tested in practice. In addition, information was obtained on how the evaluation supported development at the local level and especially the staff’s ability to evaluate their own actions at the level of teams and individuals. The material for the piloting was collected with questionnaires aimed at staff and the heads with questions included in the staff’s self-evaluation discussion. The results were analysed and returned to the ECEC centres that participated in the pilot to support the development and self-evaluation of the staff’s pedagogical activities. More information about the pilot can be found here.

The development of Valkea continues in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture between 2021 and 2023. The approximate schedule for the development work is as follows:

2020:

  • Development of the quality assessment tools
  • Piloting of the evaluation tools
  • The digital development of Valkea is launched

2021:

  • Development of the quality assessment tools continues
  • The piloting of the evaluation tools is completed
  • Network cooperation is launched
  • The development of Valkea continues
  • Survey of user experiences

2022:

  • Network cooperation continues
  • The development of Valkea is completed

FINEEC communicates information and trains the ECEC leadership and personnel with regard to using the system

 

Further information:

Counsellor of Evaluation Janniina Vlasov, tel. +358 29 533 5543

Evaluation Expert Sivi Harkoma, puh. +358 29 533 5556

email addresses in the form of firstname.surname@karvi.fi

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