Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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Who bears the cost of early childhood education and how does it affect enrolment?

  • Local governments are the main contributors to the financing of early childhood education, particularly with regards to core goods and services such as staff salaries and school buildings.
  • Households and other private entities bear a greater share of the cost than in other levels of education, particularly for ancillary services such as meals, school health services and transport.
  • Public expenditure on educational institutions, transfers and subsidies to the private sector, and the way funds are allocated, can help increase participation in early childhood education.
  • Increased spending on early childhood education does not always translate into higher enrolment, as funds may be used to improve the quality of learning, through raising teachers’ salaries, investing more in school facilities or prioritising a smaller number of teachers per student.

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