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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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How does access to early childhood education services affect the participation of women in the labour market?

While the benefits of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to better learning are now widely acknowledged, a widespread and accessible provision for these services also helps support gender equality in the workforce. In particular, the availability, intensity, reliability and affordability of ECEC play an important role in engaging women full time in the labour market. While ECEC has experienced a surge of policy attention over the last decades, wide variations still exist across countries and its costs remains a barrier to accessing paid work for poor families and lone parents, mostly mothers. More efforts are needed to increase the provision and accessibility of free ECEC services, especially for children under the age of 3.

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