Eveliis Muller


The aim of this research is to compare the early years education systems in England and Estonia in terms of similarities and differences and evaluate the impact they have on children. This study is conducted through document analysis of England’s early years education guidance: ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ (DfE, 2014) and Estonia’s guidance: ‘National curriculum for early years institution (Koolieelse lasteasutuse riiklik oppekava)’ (Vabariigi Valitsus, 2008). The research approach adopted in this paper includes document analysis and thematic analysis. The findings provide evidence of child-centred practice in both countries who view children as individuals which have unique set of needs and provide support accordingly. England’s education system has further evidence of in-depth practice with regards to children’s personal, social and emotional development and inter-agency work. There is evidence of the benefits of inter-agency work and assessment with regards to children’s transition into compulsory education. The study recommends Estonian pre-schools to focus more on effective inter-agency work and children’s emotional and social development. In addition, the Estonian government uses early years education to promote Estonian values and language.