A preschool student is reading a book on a pile of books.

Preschool education in Norway is critical for a child’s development since it plants the seeds of lifelong learning and social peace while also preparing them for formal schooling. Egalitarian principles and play-based learning within a framework that supports children’s social, emotional, and cognitive growth should be the common points in preschools. Such a supportive and enriching framework is essential for fostering a sense of autonomy and stimulating creativity among young learners. Norway’s educational model, thus, provides an example for cultivating well-rounded individuals who are equipped for the challenges and opportunities of future learning landscapes.

The Purpose and Goal of Preschool

Parents place a high value on preschool education, and it’s easy to see why when you consider the benefits. The preschool programme’s key objectives include:

  • Preparing children for primary school: Preschool is an excellent opportunity for children to become acquainted with the overall atmosphere of primary school and the classroom.
  • Developing self-esteem: Children obtain confidence, independence, and the ability to learn things by themselves in preschool through a variety of pedagogical activities.
  • Working with others: Preschool teaches children how to collaborate with fellow kids. Working in a group will develop the children’s social skills.
  • Basic mathematical skills: Through a wide range of engaging and stimulating activities, children will develop basic mathematical and critical thinking skills in preschool without the need for a rigid math class.
Students are playing with toys under the guidance of their preschool teacher.

International Pre-School Admissions

Prospective international residents can start the application procedure for their children’s enrollment in Norway’s international preschools even if they do not have a Norwegian personal identity number. If parents have any questions or need assistance during the application process, the dedicated Norwegian School and Kindergarten Admission Service is always accessible to provide complete assistance.

Although we do not have a preschool, SDIS offers an excellent primary school based on the IB Primary Years Programme for children aged 6 to 12, as well as a middle school based on the IB Middle Years Programme for students aged 13 to 16. Admission to SDIS is an easy process, and you can always contact us with your questions and inquiries.

Access to Preschool in Norway

In Norway, all children between the ages of 1 and 5 are entitled to a place in a kindergarten or preschool program. While participation in preschool is voluntary, it offers a valuable foundation for early childhood development and a practical solution for childcare while parents are at work.

The oversight and administration of these preschool programmes predominantly fall under the jurisdiction of the local municipalities, which strive to ensure adequate provisions are in place for all residents. In parallel, there is a network of private preschools that parents can also consider for their children.

To secure a place in either a municipal or private preschool, parents must have their child registered with the National Registry and hold residence within Norway. Application deadlines are crucial; for a child whose birthday falls before the end of August, they are eligible for preschool commencement in August of that application year. For children with birthdays in September, October, or November, they can be granted a place in the preschool for the month following their first birthday, subject to availability.

For families residing in Norway on a temporary basis, it is recommended to directly engage with the local municipality or the desired private preschool to discuss the potential for securing a place, acknowledging that this may be subject to specific local policies and space availability.

Preschool students are drawing as a part of their learning program.

The Essence of Norwegian International Preschool Education

At the heart of Norway’s international preschool philosophy is the integration of culture as a cornerstone in nurturing the growth and development of each child. This immersive educational framework is designed not only to provide young learners with the fundamental abilities they will need when they enter primary school, but it is also carefully developed to help them completely comprehend the following crucial elements:

  • Societal Dynamics: Students engage with their immediate environment and acquire a practical understanding of how societal structures function through hands-on experience.
  • Inclusivity and Community Engagement: The preschool curriculum emphasises the notion that all individuals, young students and older community members alike, play an integral role in the fabric of community life.
  • Cultural Diversity: Embracing diversity is a central theme, where children are taught to recognise and value social and cultural differences.
  • Moral Foundations and Ethics: Preschool education in Norway lays the groundwork for basic moral and ethical values, guiding children to develop a strong moral compass.

Preschool Education at its Core

Preschool education is widely recognised as one of the most effective ways to create a firm foundation for your child’s academic path. Enrolling your child in a preschool programme gives them an excellent opportunity to develop social skills, learn important life values, and integrate the standards that will serve as guiding principles throughout their educational career and beyond.

Although at SDIS we don’t have a preschool programme, we are always here to answer your questions about our school. You can visit us at the school or contact us via phone or mail.

  • Phone: (+47) 51 20 15 75
  • E-mail:
  • Address: Figgenveien 31, 4332 Figgjo


Is it better to send my child to a private or public preschool?

Well, this mainly depends on your preferences. However, if you are a foreigner, then an international private preschool establishment may be your first choice.

Do I have to send my child to preschool in Norway?

No, it is not mandatory, but it is always recommended. This way, your child will develop valuable lifelong skills.

Where do Norwegian preschools place their focus?

Much of the focus in Norway’s preschool system is on the child learning valuable social, analytical, and community skills.