Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care: Korea 2012

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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.



Where does Korea stand regarding policy outcomes and inputs?

Korea performs above the OECD average on several ECEC outcome indicators but underperforms on others. On participation, Korea has a relatively large share of children aged three and under attending some form of ECEC. On child outcome indicators, infant survival rates are high, there is very little child poverty, and Korean students aged 15 perform well on PISA assessments for reading, mathematics and science. Possible policy changes from an international comparative perspective include: increasing participation rates of five-year-olds; improving female labour market participation; and improving gender equality in earnings for women.


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