Early Childhood Inclusion in Croatia

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This article explains early childhood inclusion in Croatia from its beginnings up to challenges in current policy and practice. The first preschool education for children with disabilities dates back to the 1980s and was provided in special institutions. In the last 10 years, mainstream kindergartens have been enrolling children with disabilities but unevenly in different Croatian regions and also with a different quality of support. The lower economic potential of the rural and smaller local communities adversely influence the possibility of organizing support for children with disabilities in general, especially in an inclusive setting. The great challenge in analyzing the quality of early childhood inclusion in educational settings is the lack of reliable sources of data and evaluation research. Main challenges in early childhood inclusion and future directions are discussed.

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