Early childhood and schools

Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care


Executive summary | Table of contents
 How to obtain this publication | Country profiles
News releases and press material | Previous editions | Websites | Corrigenda


ISBN: 9264035451
Publication: 11/9/2006
Pages: 444


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.

Education Commission of the States - Standout Reads from 2006

"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."

Executive summary

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.

Table of contents              

  • Chapter 1. Why Countries Invest in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Chapter 2. A Systemic and Integrated Approach to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Policy
  • Chapter 3. A Strong and Equal Partnership with the Education System
  • Chapter 4. A Universal Approach to Access, with Particular Attention to Children in Need of Special Support
  • Chapter 5. Substantial Public Investment in Services and the Infrastructure
  • Chapter 6. A Participatory Approach to Quality Improvement and Assurance
  • Chapter 7. Appropriate Training and Working Conditions for Early Childhood Education and Care Staff
  • Chapter 8. Systematic Attention to Data Collection and Monitoring
  • Chapter 9. A Stable Framework and Long-Term Agenda for Research and Evaluation
  • Chapter 10. Concluding Policy Observations
  • Annex A. Terminology Used in the Report
  • Annex B. The Scope and Methodology of the ECEC Review
  • Annex C. Data for Figures
  • Annex D. A Summary of International Evidence in Favour of Public Investment in ECEC
  • Annex E. Country Profiles: An Overview of ECEC Systems in the Participating Countries
  • Annex F. Members of Review Teams

How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care choosing from the following options:

Country profiles

The country profiles provide a comparative overview of the major indicators of Early Childhood Education and Care in the participating countries.

News releases and press material 

Previous editions



Related Documents


Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care (Japanese version)

Starting Strong II - Early Childhood Education and Care (Korean version)

Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care - Summary in English

Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care - Summary in Spanish

Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care - Summary in German


Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Venezuela
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • Chinese Taipei^Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Bolivia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Moldova
  • Congo
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Tanzania
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Viet Nam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Curaçao
  • Bonaire
  • Saba
  • Topics list