Education;Public sector;Immigration and immigrants;Svalbard
The purpose of the statistics is to provide information about the status and changes in numbers of kindergartens, as well as employees in kindergartens.



About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Kindergartens
Topic: Education

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

According to the Day Care Institutions Act of 1995, a kindergarten is defined as an approved educational establishment organized for children below the age of compulsory education. The Ministry of Education and Research determines regulations and guidelines for kindergartens, while municipalities issue the approvals.

A family day-care centre is a type of kindergarten that organizes its activities in a private home, based on the premise that a kindergarten teacher is employed as an educational supervisor. The kindergarten teacher should either be attached to an ordinary kindergarten or the municipal administration. The regulation on family day-care centres states that at least half of the children in a family day-care institution group must be other than the home's own children.

Open kindergartens do not have a set group of children. They are open to children accompanied by parents for playing and social gathering. The estimated number of children attending open kindergartens refers to the number of children who can visit the kindergarten at the same time. From 1999 and onwards, the number of children in open kindergartens is not included in the total number of children in kindergartens. Hence the number of children is not directly comparable before and after the change.

Man-year refers to a full-time employee (37.5 hours per week) for a year.

Children in kindergartens refers to the total number of children who have a place regardless of weekly attendance.

Age of children is given as of year-end.

Attendance refers to agreed attendance not actual attendance. 

Coverage is the percentage of children in kindergarten relative to the total number of children in the corresponding cohorts. 

Linguistic and cultural minorities are children with ethnic languages and cultural backgrounds other than Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. 

Standard classifications

Part-time attendance in kindergartens : Children with agreed attendance hours within the categories of 0-8 hours, 9-16 hours, 17-24 hours or 25-32 hours per week.

Full-time attendance in kindergartens : Children with agreed attendance hours within the categories of 33-40 hours or 41 hours or more per week.

Public kindergartens : Kindergartens owned by the municipal, county municipal or state authorities.

Private kindergartens : Privately owned kindergartens, including privately owned kindergartens receiving subsidies from the municipality.

Non-municipal kindergartens: County municipal, state or privately owned kindergartens.

Administrative information

Regional level

The statistics are published on national, county and municipal level.

Frequency and timeliness

Annual reports as of 15 December. Final figures are published in March. In addition, KOSTRA preliminary figures are published 15 March and final figures are published 15 June.

International reporting

Some data are delivered to OECD, UNESCO and Eurostat.


All statistics about kindergartens at Statistics Norway is stored in a proper, standardized manner in consultation with the Data Inspectorate. Primary data and information on sample units are stored temporarily in the programming language SAS, and stored permanently as text-files.


Background and purpose

Kindergarten statistics were first collected in 1963, and have been developed since then. The purpose of the statistics is to provide information about the status of kindergartens and employees in kindergartens. Information reported by the kindergartens also forms background for state subsidies payments, and supervisions according to the Day Care Institutions Act and other regulations.

Users and applications

Important users of the kindergarten statistics are the Ministry of Education and Research, municipal authorities, county governors, researchers and the media. The kindergarten statistics are also relevant to other statistics produced by Statistics Norway, such as the Price level survey of households' payments in kindergartens, account statistics for private kindergartens and KOSTRA (Municipality - State - Reporting).

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on www.ssb.no at 08.00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The statistics are relevant to other statistics produced by Statistics Norway i.e. KOSTRA,national accounts, account statistics for private kindergartens, and others. Comparable statistics can be found at the website of the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (UDIR)

Legal authority

The information is collected by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (UDIR) under the authority of the Day Care Institutions Act, section 7. Statistics Norway uses the reports to produce official statistics under the authority of the Statistics Act of 21 June 2019 No. 32 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway § 10.

EEA reference

Not relevant.



The statistics include all approved kindergartens of any form of ownership; municipal, county, state and private owned kindergartens. Information about children in kindergarten, institutions, persons employed and man-years worked is some of the data that is collected.

Some of the information that is collected is age, attendance per week in ordinary kindergartens, family day-care centres and number of children attending open kindergartens. The statistics also include the number of children relative to the number of employees/man-years and the percentage of children in kindergarten relative to the total number of children in the corresponding cohorts.

Furthermore, data regarding the number of children that are given priority because of handicap, the number of children that are allocated extra resources and the number of children who receive training in their mother tongue is collected.

Employees and man-years are distributed by category of employment position, education and ownership. Employees are also distributed by gender.

Data sources and sampling

The statistics are based on data that is compiled electronically through BASIL by the forms "Annual reports for kindergartens as of 15 December".

All approved kindergartens under the Day Care Institutions Act that receive subsidies are in the sample.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The web solution presently in use for the data collection is called BASIL (BArnehage-Statistikk-InnrapporteringsLøsning) and is owned by the Ministry of Education and Research. Username and password is sent to every kindergarten 1 December and the Annual reports for kindergartens are reported by 15 December, with a response deadline of four weeks.

The electronic forms have several checks active during the registration process. The information is also controlled and edited by the corresponding county governors and by Statistics Norway before data are aggregated and published. The controls are based on coherence between data and comparison to prior years.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant.


The statistics are not published on institutional level.

Comparability over time and space

The compulsory schooling in Norway was extended from 9 to 10 years in 1997, which meant that 6-year-olds were enrolled in primary schools instead of kindergartens. This shift means that some time series like percentage of children attending kindergartens will have a break .

The categories of levels of attendance hours were changed from 1999. This was done because of the introduction of cash benefits for parents with small children 1-3 years old that are not attending kindergarten full-time. The former five categories were substituted by six new categories. The definition of full-time attendance in kindergarten was changed from 32 week-hours and more to 33 week-hours and more.

Children in open kindergartens were reported separately from 1999. Earlier they were reported among children in other types of kindergartens. While the statistics prior to 1999 included children in open kindergartens, the shift that was made in 1999 has enabled Statistics Norway to separate between:

  • The number of children in ordinary kindergartens (excluding children in open kindergartens, thus not directly comparable to earlier figures of total number of children in kindergartens)
  • The number of children with an offer of admission in kindergartens (including children in open kindergartens, thus directly comparable to earlier figures of total number of children in kindergartens)

Due to changes in the collection of educational background that were introduced in 2016, the figures are not directly comparable with previous years.


Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Errors may occur during completion of the forms in the kindergartens or by the municipal authorities. Most errors are discovered and corrected by manual or automatic controls, some errors may still occur.

This is a fullscale collection, and the response rate is equal to 100 per cent.  


Principals for revision in Statistics Norway