The preschool educational system in Montenegro: Current state and prospects Tatjana L. Novović
Summary: This paper presents an overview of the current preschool educational system in Montenegro. By analysing current structural and functional variables, we identify new opportunities in the current preschool system, indicating the level of responsiveness of the kindergarten pedagogical environment. The Strategy for Early and Preschool Education in Montenegro (2016–2020) has introduced future development directions of the segment early and preschool education, including the further extension of preschool education coverage, the efficient accessibility of services, and the diversification of educational programmes. The key factors related to high-quality pedagogical practice in preschools are the teachers, who are expected to be reflective practitioners, researchers, and promoters of functional change in the institutional context and, consequently, in the wider social environment. The functioning of the institutional preschool context in Montenegro is in line with the new paradigm of the competent child, taking into account the cultural and process-interpretative variables in the particular environment. Moreover, numerous obstacles to building a quality learning community—such as class size, lack of space, and lack of a support system—are evident. Due to the lack of structural and qualitative responsive conditions, children from the northern region, especially the rural areas; Roma and Egyptian children; and children with developmental difficulties are unable to effectively exercise their right to full and active participation in Montenegro’s current preschool institutional context.