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Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care: Korea 2012

image of Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care: Korea 2012

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) can bring a wide range of benefits – for children, parents and society at large. However, these benefits are conditional on “quality”. Expanding access to services without attention to quality will not deliver good outcomes for children or long-term productivity benefits for society.

This series of country reports focuses on quality issues. Each report tackles a specific theme that was selected by the country reviewed. These reports suggest strengths and point to areas for further reflection on current policy initiatives.

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What are the challenges and strategies?

Common challenges countries face in enhancing quality in ECEC curriculum are: 1) defining goals and content; 2) curriculum alignment for continuous child development; 3) effective implementation; and 4) systematic evaluation and assessment.

Korea has made several efforts to tackle these challenges, mostly focusing on defining and revising the content by, for example, providing autonomy to local authorities for adaptation of the framework to local needs. Korea has also taken steps to align curricula better through the development of a common national curriculum for all children aged five. To further their efforts, Korea could consider strategies implemented by Finland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, such as engaging parents in setting child-specific curricula; developing one curriculum for children in the whole ECEC age range; developing a communication toolkit for staff and materials that target parents; and ensuring that assessment practices meet the aspirations of the curriculum.

English

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