The structural quality of preschools: how it influences process quality and children’s achievements dr. Ljubica Marjanovič Umek
Summary: In the paper we discuss the structural quality of preschools in relation to the process and indirect levels of quality, situating them in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. We approach preschool quality as a protective/critical factor of children’s development and learning. Therefore, we base our discussion on various conceptual models of preschool quality as well as Slovenian and international empirical research studies to elucidate the complex and comprehensive relationships among quality indicators and the influence of preschools, including the quality of the family environment. The results lead to the conclusion that in Slovenia – just as in some other countries with good-quality preschool education – we need a definition of national preschool quality standards at the legislative level and a parallel development of ways and procedures of quality assessment, both at the levels of self-evaluation and external evaluation.