Early Childhood Education and Care
28 May 2001
; 9789264186750 (print)
Improving the quality of, and access to, early childhood education and care has become a major policy priority in OECD Member countries. The early years are increasingly viewed as the first step in lifelong learning and a key component of a successful educational, social, and family policy agenda. Countries have adopted diverse strategies to policy development in this field - strategies which are deeply embedded in particular country contexts, values, and beliefs. In particular, early childhood policy and provision are strongly linked to cultural and social beliefs about young children, the roles of families and government, and the purposes of early childhood education and care within and across countries. Yet, countries share many similar challenges and issues.
Taking a broader and more holistic approach than previous studies, this book provides a comparative analysis of major policy developments and issues in 12 OECD countries, highlights innovative approaches, and proposes policy options that can be adapted to varied country contexts. What are the most promising strategies for organising policy in ways which promote child and family well-being? Looking towards the future, the report proposes eight key elements of successful policy for decision makers seeking to promote equitable access to quality early childhood education and care.
-Contextual Issues Shaping ECEC Policy
-Main Policy Developments and Issues
-Policy Lessons from the Thematic Review
Chapter 1. Introduction
-Why are countries interested in a thematic review of early childhood education and care policy?
-What to we mean by Early Childhood Education and Care?
-Which countries took part in the thematic review?
-How was the thematic review conducted?
-The structure of the report
-Terminology and conventions used in the report
Chapter 2. Contextual Issues Shaping ECEC Policy
-Demographic, Economic, and Social Trends
-Recognizing diverse views of children and the purposes of ECEC
Chapter 3. Main Policy Developments and Issues
-Expanding provision toward universal access
-Raising the quality of provision
-Promoting coherence and coordination of policy and services
-Exploring strategies to ensure adequate investment in the system
-Improving staff training and work conditions
-Developing appropriate pedagogical frameworks for young children
-Engaging parents, families, and communities
Chapter 4. Policies Lessons from the Thematic Review
-Key Elements of Successful ECEC Policy
--A systematic and integrated approach to policy development and implementation
--A strong and equal partnership with the education system
--A univeral approach to access, with particular attention to children in need of special support
--Substantial public investment in services and the infrastructure
--A participatory approach to quality improvement and assurance
--Appropriate training and working conditions for staff in all forms of provision
--Systematic attention to monitoring and data collection
--A stable framework and long-term agenda for research and evaluation
-Future Directions of Work
Appendix 1. An Overview of ECEC Systems in the Participating Countries (Australia, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, UK, US)
Appendix 2. Statistical Tables
Appendix 3. Questions to Guides the Preparation of the Background Report
Appendix 4. National Coordinators and Members of the Review Teams
Appendix 5. Commissioned Papers
Appendix 6. Country Codes used in Tables and Charts