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Starting Strong III

A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care

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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 new publication focuses on quality issues: it aims to define quality and outlines five policy levers that can enhance it in ECEC. In addition, it provides busy policy makers with practical tools such as research briefs, international comparisons, country examples, self-reflection sheets, etc. in order to successfully implement these policy levers.

English Chinese, German, French, Korean

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Designing and implementing curriculum and standards

Curriculum and standards can reinforce positive impact on children’s learning and development. They can: i) ensure even quality across different settings; ii) give guidance to staff on how to enhance children’s learning and well-being; and iii) inform parents of their children’s learning and development. Countries take different approaches in designing curriculum. There is a need to think beyond curriculum dichotomies (e.g., academic-oriented vs. comprehensive approaches, staff-initiated instruction vs. child-initiated activities, etc.) and consolidate the “added value” of individual approaches. Almost all OECD countries have a framework in place – either curriculum or learning standards – from age three to compulsory schooling. A growing number of countries and regions have started to address continuous child development from early childhood throughout older ages, such as eight, ten or eighteen.

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