Welcome to Tirana ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) Center

Our history

Tirana ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) Center is an institution that provides Education, Care Service and Training to ECEC professionals and families in Tirana. Our key goal is to shape the role of Albanian ECEC teachers, by sustaining them academically and professionally on a daily basis. Rising the societal awareness on the essential outcomes that providing a high quality Albanian ECEC service has on our children’s future, stands as a core value for our institution. The parents` consistent partnership and involvement in our activities (as intern counsellors) is seen as a valuable facilitator to the purpose of increasing the efficiency and sustainability of our investment in the children’s growth and development.

Our mission and philosophy

Our mission is to initiate a call within Albanian ECEC professionals, as we support them in slowly moving away from using “Western universalizing frames” of ECEC and notions of childhood to those embedded in Albanian culture. Education is linked to culture and constant change in society, and this should be taken into account while framing Albanian ECEC professionals and institutions so as to serve our children accordingly. Our initiative does not intend to minimize the great impact the international successful ECEC approaches have had in revolutionizing our global perspective on the child’s development and care, instead, we study them together in cooperation with our ECEC professionals and parents, encourage our teachers to reflect on the new knowledge provided and give the ECEC teacher and the child’s parent the competence to analyze which elements from any approach would be best adequate to take into consideration while compiling the child’s individual development plan and to what extent?
The whole reflection process is developed through several reporting meetings between the teacher and the parents, under the guidance of ECEC specialists/professionals whenever needed. This practice is projected to be a fundamental facilitator in the establishment of an Albanian ECEC sustainable and efficient education system


Imposed ECEC` role models

Over the course of Albanian Education history, the quality of Early Childhood Education and Care has been disputable and in a state of controversy, notably shaped by the influence of foreign ECEC approaches. From the very first institutions that operated as ECEC centers in Albania(Sibijan Mejtepe, during the invasion of Ottoman Empire), followed by foreign private kindergartens established during continuous periods of invasion (Italian, Austro-Hungarian, French and German) and later on, the implementation of the first official Albanian ECEC curricula in 1921 (promoting the model of the Soviet Union kindergarten, during the communist regime), there has been constant dependency of the Albanian ECEC on “the other” (foreign approaches).

Early 90`s ECEC approaches

This tradition of addressing “the other” as the solution to our internal educational challenges continued even after the collapse of the communist regime. The new post-communist transitional period brought the need for a modern conceptualization related to the work content, teaching methodology, environment and adaptation, for the sake of a more inclusive ECEC in Albania. Thus, intensive international projects and training were conducted in the early 90`s aiming at implementing western ECEC successful approaches (such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Step by Step etc.), but their implementation, despite the considerable financial cost, remained within the frames of short-lasting project-initiatives.
Today`s ECEC leading models in Albania
Nowadays, almost 30 years later, we still experience the legacy of addressing “the other or the west” as “the better”. Education institutions in Albania which promote foreign education approaches still entice the Albanian parent as the best alternatives for their child’s education. But how many Albanian parents might get concerned on the efficiency or at least to the extent the implementation of the foreign approach is done within Albanian context. How well could the foreign approach correlate to their children`s past learning experiences? Are their children ready to be introduced and get engaged in a new teaching- learning mentality? What are the kindergarten/school`s policies that facilitate the child’s transition within this new environment? And will the introduction of this new approach have side effects such as shaping the child’s personality (by reinforcing or dismissing certain personal skills)?