Investigating quality indicators of early childhood education programs in Kosovo, Ukraine and Finland

Antje von Suchodoletz, Ross Larsen, Fitim Uka, Iryna Nadyukova, Eija Pakarinen, Marja Kristiina Lerkkanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The existing literature on early childhood education (ECE) quality is predominantly from the US or other developed countries. In low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), systematic research on ECE quality, however, is very limited. In the present study, we explore variation in structural and process indicators of ECE quality in two Eastern European LMICs, Kosovo and Ukraine, using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K (CLASS) as a measure of process quality for the first time in these countries. We also include Finland because governments in Kosovo and Ukraine show a particular interest in the Finnish education model to inform policy reforms. Participants were kindergarten teachers (n=177) from these three countries who were observed in their classrooms and asked to complete questionnaires. Results indicated variability in ECE quality at various levels, both within and across the three countries. Directions for future research and implications for practice and policy development in LMICs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-306
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • CLASS Pre-K
  • ECE quality
  • kindergarten
  • LMICs
  • process quality
  • structural characteristics
  • Structural quality
  • teacher–child interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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