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Early Childhood Education in Estonia

Early Childhood Education in Estonia

Tiina Petterson is a chief expert of pre-primary education in the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. The main tasks of her profession are: management of early childhood education policy, including improvement of Early Childhood Education and Care law and National Curriculum for Preschools; advising heads and teachers of preschools and experts of local governments; managing the network of preschools and teacher trainers’ institutions; analysing preschool educational database; developing and coordinating international cooperation in the field of early childhood education and care (ECEC). Tiina is a member of the European Commission ECEC workgroup and OECD ECEC Network. She has a Baccalaureus Artium (Bachelor of Arts) in Preschool Pedagogy, a Psychology degree from Pedagogical University of Tallinn; and a Magister Artium (Master of Arts) in School Management degree from University of Tartu. She is currently a PhD student in education at Tallinn University. Her research interests are specific are preschool quality, leadership, professionalism of preschool teachers and workforce of different early childhood education and care systems.


Maria Jürimäe has been working as a teacher of extracurricular activities since 1995 for 10 years, and at the University of Tartu since 2000 till now. Maria obtained her Masters in language arts in 2001 focusing on phonemic awareness in Estonian children learning to read. Currently, she is a part-time Senior Specialist in Curriculum Theory and Learning and part-time Junior Lecturer in Curriculum Theory. Between 2000 - 2006 she acted as the leader of the work group developing National Curriculum for Early Years, later as a member of various work groups. She is presently leading the National Curriculum renewal work group of her University.

In 2008 Maria co-authored a book with Jana Treier: Curricula and kindergarten (Õppekavad ja lasteaed. Tartu: University of Tartu). Her latest book is about professional development of kindergarten educators in PLCs Sissejuhatus 1 (

Maria Jürimäe is the national representative of Estonia at the World Forum on Early Care and Education, a board member of the Estonian Reading Association, and a member of the Estonian Reggio Emilia Association.

Tiina Petterson and Maria Jürimäe will be giving us an overview of the Estonian Early Childhood Education programme. I am sure that we can all learn from this international perspective.


If you are interested in joining this online session, please register through our website: to reserve a place. The Zoom link will be sent to you a couple of hours before the session starts. Only individuals registered will be sent the link and assigned an attendance ticket to count for the issue of the CPD hours certificate.


Looking forward to seeing you.

ECDAM Committee

Presenter: Tiina Petterson and Maria Jürimäe

Venue: Online via Zoom

Event Date: 03 Feb 2022

Event Time: 06:00 PM