Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care
Economic development and rapid social change have significantly modified family and child-rearing patterns across OECD countries.
This review of early childhood education and care (ECEC) in twenty OECD countries describes the social, economic, conceptual and research factors that influence early childhood policy. These include increasing women’s labour market participation; reconciling work and family responsibilities on a more equitable basis for women; confronting the demographic challenges faced by OECD countries; and in particular, addressing issues of access, quality, diversity, child poverty and educational disadvantage. How countries approach such issues is influenced by their social and economic traditions, their understandings of families and young children, and by accumulated research on the benefits of quality early childhood services.
Starting Strong II outlines the progress made by the participating countries in responding to the key aspects of successful ECEC policy outlined in the previous volume, Starting Strong (OECD, 2001). It offers many examples of new policy initiatives adopted in the ECEC field. In their conclusion, the authors identify ten policy areas for further critical attention from governments. The book also presents country profiles, which give an overview of ECEC systems in all 20 participating countries.
This book is relevant for the many concerned by child development, work/family balance and early childhood education and care policy.
Countries covered: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"Economic development and rapid social change have significantly modified family and child-rearing patterns across Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. A 2006 OECD book outlines progress made by participating countries in responding to key aspects of successful EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE (ECEC) policy. It offers many examples of new policy initiatives adopted in the ECEC field."
The provision of quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) has remained firmly on government agendas in recent years. Public awareness of gaps in provision and of insufficient quality in services has moved the issue of child care and after-school care onto electoral agendas in many countries. There is a growing recognition that early access to ECEC provides young children, particularly from low-income and second-language groups, with a good start in life.
Twelve countries volunteered to participate in the first round of the review between 1998 and 2000. Recognising the value of the review and the quality of the recommendations produced in the first report, the OECD Education Committee authorised a second review in which eight countries participated. Both rounds of the review have taken a broad and holistic approach that considers how policies, services, families, and communities can support young children’s early development and learning.
Readers can access the full version of Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care choosing from the following options:
The country profiles provide a comparative overview of the major indicators of Early Childhood Education and Care in the participating countries.