Starting Strong IV

Monitoring Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care

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Research suggests that, when it comes to early childhood education and care, quality matters most. A growing number of countries are establishing monitoring systems to ensure quality and accountability in these programmes. This new publication explores how countries can develop and use these systems to enhance service and staff quality for the benefit of child development. It offers an international perspective and concrete examples to help policy makers, monitoring experts and practitioners in the field develop their own monitoring policies and practices.

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Monitoring service quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC)

Monitoring service quality is, together with staff quality, the most common area of monitoring reported across the countries and jurisdictions that participated in this study. External monitoring practices include inspections, which are used by all jurisdictions, and parental surveys, which are used by half of all jurisdictions. Self-evaluations are implemented by three-quarters of the jurisdictions. The instruments and focus of monitoring service quality differ by practice, although observations and surveys are often used. Inspections mainly focus on regulation compliance. Inspections and self-evaluations focus strongly on communication and collaboration within settings, and with parents and families. The frequency of monitoring service quality usually depends on previous monitoring results. Countries mainly monitor to inform policy making and improve the level of quality. Jurisdictions do not always find it easy to ensure that monitoring practices support ECEC settings in stimulating child development, designing and implementing a unified monitoring system in decentralised countries, and ensuring appropriate training to those who conduct monitoring.

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