Annex B. Literature review method

The methodology for the literature review search was based on a number of starting points that fit the goals of Phase I of the project “Policy Review: Quality beyond Regulations in ECEC” (Slot, 2017[16]). The literature review was not designed as a systematic review and was carried out with good judgment in line with project goals.

First, an important goal was to align the two initial research inputs for the project, i.e. the literature review and the meta-analysis, and to build on recent OECD projects and publication on quality in ECEC. To fit this goal, the same search terms were used for the two research activities, with additional search terms being added to the literature review for structural quality and for family-based care, as follows:

ECEC OR ECE OR preschool OR care OR child care OR day care OR family OR home-based OR early education OR early childhood AND

structur* quality OR teach* OR teach* education* OR teach* training OR in-service OR professional development OR experience OR ratio OR group size OR class* size OR leadership OR organisation OR organisation OR team OR work* condition*

AND Process quality OR classroom quality OR instruc* quality OR curriculum OR practices OR teaching OR interaction OR activities OR teacher-directed OR child-cent* OR climate

Second, the review was meant to take a cross-national approach, thus aimed explicitly at retrieving studies from countries other than the United States. Hence, search terms related to the continents or regions were added, specifically for South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Additional relevant literature was elicited from participants of the OECD ECEC Network meeting on 4 July 2017. Moreover, feedback and suggestions provided by interested and participating countries in the Policy Review project from September to November 2017 were also integrated in the literature review.

Third, to ensure the inclusion of grey literature in addition to scientific papers, policy and research reports from several countries were covered (e.g. Australia, Flemish Community of Belgium, the Netherlands, England [United Kingdom], and the United States) through search engines as Google and Google Scholar. This allowed the consideration of (ongoing) research projects such as the Effective Early Education Experiences (i.e. E4kids) study in Australia and Measurement and Monitoring of Quality (i.e. MeMoQ) study in the Flemish Community of Belgium, for which scientific papers are not yet available. Moreover, several policy reports were used to collect information on specific structural features, such as the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) in the United Sates that contained highly relevant findings.

Lastly, the literature review took a comprehensive approach to study the relations between structural and process quality including centre- and family-based day care and focused on the age range from birth up to five years of age.


[17] Slot, P. (2017), Literature review on Early Childhood Education and Care quality: Relations between structural characteristics at different levels and process quality, Internal document, OECD, Paris.