The Norwegian word for daycare is "barnehage" and translates literally to kindergarden. However, nearly every kid in Norway begins barnehage when they are only 1 year old and they continue until the first year of elementary school at age 6. So in American terms it is a mix of daycare, pre-school and public education.
Daycare= babysitter... The only stay-at-home-moms that I have met are immigrants. Here in Norway they have a very high standard of equality and most women have a desire to work outside the home.
Pre-school= pedagogical platform...Each classroom has a pre-school teacher and they base lesson plans on educational standards.
Public education= special ed services...If you're not in barnehage it is very hard to have access to any services. (However, "Early Intervention" barely exists here so you're not really missing anything! I'll save that for another post!)
ADVANTAGES...Phoenix's physical therapist (who's job is to simply evaluate him every 6-12 months) signed him up for a swim class on Tuesday afternoons. The barnehage part of this is that his aide takes him there! It is part of her job! The government pays for a taxi to take them to the class and the class is free! He loves swimming and it is a great work out so we're very pleased about this. YEAH for daycare in Norway!
When I'm crabby one day I'll write about the DISADVANTAGES...may be a looooong post!