Early childhood policies and systems in eight countries: findings from IEA’s Early Childhood Education Study

Author(s): Bertram, Tony; Pascal, Chris

Organisation(s): International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

Publisher(s): Springer

Date: 2016

Pages: 194 p.

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Educational policymakers around the world increasingly recognize the strong positive impact that early childhood education (ECE) can have on children’s further development. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) launched its Early Childhood Education Study (ECES) to explore, describe, and analyze early childhood education provision, and its role in preparing children to learn and function both in school and society. This comprehensive study of wider ECE policy contexts includes teacher/practitioner qualifications, pedagogy approaches, and opportunities for professional development. This report provides an overview of ECE policy strategies (from birth to the start of primary schooling) in eight countries: Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Poland, the Russian Federation and the United States. These countries ably illustrate some of the differing approaches to ECE policies worldwide, as well as recent and impeding changes in a range of diverse contexts. Analyses of the systemic and structural results of ECE policy strategies at both national and, where applicable, subnational levels, enable the reader to review ECE systems in an international context. Key findings cover five policy areas: public policy; delivery models and providers; participation and enrollment; quality assurance systems; and expectations for child outcomes.

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