25/04/2012 - The Czech Republic should build on the strengths of its preschool education framework to further enhance the quality of its early childhood education and care services, according to a new OECD report.
Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care: Czech Republic says that the current framework outlines expected outcomes for children, which supports staff in identifying children's needs, development and learning. The Czech Republic is one of only a few OECD countries to address in its framework the importance of leadership and management in ensuring effective curriculum implementation.
Among the areas where the report recommends action include the age range of children covered by the current framework. The Czech Republic's Framework Education Programme for Preschool Education covers children aged three to six. Creating one for staff working with children aged zero to three would help.
A framework or guidelines can support staff in stimulating early child development, says the report. Australia, New Zealand and Norway, for example, have created a single curriculum framework covering children from birth until compulsory school age. To cover zero-to-three-year-olds, the Czech Republic could consider having two separate frameworks or pursuing an integrated approach.
The report also recommends that the Czech Republic create explicit links between the preschool framework and primary school education. While the framework is based on the same principles and objectives as other branches of the educational system, it does not clearly state how children's experiences in preschool relate to what they are expected to do in primary school. Such clarity could help staff implement activities to best prepare children for the transition from one level of education to the other.
International research identifies five key areas that are most effective in encouraging quality in early childhood education and care: setting out quality goals and regulations; designing and implementing curriculum and standards; improving qualifications, training and working conditions; engaging families and communities; and advancing data collection, research and monitoring. The Czech Republic asked the OECD to focus on designing and implementing curriculum and standards.
For more information on Starting Strong III, including the online version of the full report, research briefs, country strategies and international comparative data: www.oecd.org/edu/earlychildhood.
For more information about the OECD/Norway High-level Roundtable on Early Childhood Education and Care: www.oecd.org/edu/earlychildhood/roundtable.
For further information, please contact Miho Taguma (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kelly Makowiecki (Kelly.email@example.com) from the OECD’s Education Directorate.
Access Figure 1. Coverage of ECEC curriculum frameworks or guidelines by age group here.