OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Leadership for quality early childhood education and care

This literature review examines the research on early childhood education and care (ECEC) leadership and how leaders impact process quality in ECEC settings. Process quality refers to interactions and relationships between and among children and ECEC staff, and is a strong predictor of children’s learning, development and well-being. Research suggests that leadership plays a central role in improving and sustaining process quality in ECEC settings. This literature review presents findings about: 1) the functions, roles and structures of leadership in ECEC settings, 2) factors that may support or hinder leadership and its effectiveness, 3) working conditions and professional development for staff, and 4) how these factors might impact process quality. The results suggest that supports for ECEC leadership may be needed to strengthen areas such as leadership recruitment, preparation and professional development, credentialing and compensation, job design and further research.


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