A large proportion of all Norwegian children attend “barnehagen” or Norwegian daycare centers. Thus, children from various family backgrounds are enrolled. As in many other western countries, Norwegian divorce rates are high. It is expected that 24 percent of all marriages will end in divorce as early as within the first 10 years of marriage. This indicates that many young children experience divorce. Also, increasing rates of cohabitation among parents of young children place the children at an even higher risk of experiencing parental separation, due to high dissolution rates among theses couples. This means that Norwegian daycare centers relatively often have contact with children whose parents are moving apart.
It is well known from the international literature that children of divorce are at an increased risk of both emotional and behavioral problems. Norwegian daycare centers are obliged to conduct individually tailored care for all children. In case of divorce or separation the daycare centers may be challenged by various reactions and behavioral changes among children, and by potential conflict among adults. The main aim of this research project is to gain knowledge of how daycare centers can organize their work and care in order to meet special needs among children and families that experience divorce or separation. Qualitative studies will be conducted among various groups of informants, including parents, children, staff, and professional family therapists. This R&D-project is accepted and supported by the Norwegian Research Council.