Early childhood and schools

Early Childhood Education and Care - Thematic Workshops and Documents


The OECD secretariat has organised workshops for the early childhood national co-ordinators on topics central to ECEC policy making: 



  • Reggio Emilia, Italy, 21-22 September 2006 – “Starting Strong II: Public Policy in Early Childhood Education and Care”, a conference that launched the publication of Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care.  Conference participants discussed key aspects of policy making in this field and also visited the well-known Reggio Emilia pre-schools.


  • Stockholm, 13-15 June 2003 – The workshop on “Approaches to curriculum” was hosted by the Ministry of Education and Science in Sweden and the Swedish National Agency for Education Stockholm.  Discussion papers were provided by Professor Helen May on Te Whariki; Professor Ferre Laevers on Experiential Education; Professor Ingrid Pramling on the Swedish Curriculum; Dr. Carlina Rinaldi on Reggio Emilia; and Dr. David Weikart on High/Scope. After re-editing by Professor Pramling and the OECD secretariat, a synthetic report: Five Curriculum Outlines  is now available.


  • Rotterdam, January 2003 – The workshop on “Funding and financing early childhood services” was hosted by the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.  The discussion paper - Financing ECEC Services in OECD Countries  - was written by Professors Gordon Cleveland and Mike Krashinsky of the University of Toronto, Canada. The paper makes the case for public investment in ECEC – in other words, the benefits and costs of public investment in early childhood services; provides an analytical classification of the main funding mechanisms used in different OECD countries for funding ECEC services for children of different ages (0-3, 3-6), together with a tabulation of information available on these funding mechanisms; reviews the research findings about the advantages and disadvantages of different funding mechanisms and methods of providing ECEC services; examines the evidence about the comparative costs of different types (and quality levels) of services in OECD countries.


  • Paris, October 2002 – a two-day workshop at OECD headquarters on “Indicators and data in early childhood”. The discussion paper – Data needs in early childhood education and care  - was written by Dr. John Bennett, OECD. Because ECEC is expanding and becoming highly professionalized, policy makers need better data than at present to make adequate policy and to monitor services effectively. Five recommendations are made: to greatly expand data collection on young children beyond the range of the present ISCED 0 level; to collect reliable figures on public and private subsidies toward young children, disaggregated to cover key elements of expenditure; to develop broad indicators to measure the effectiveness of early childhood systems; to use more dynamic methods of statistical analysis in the early childhood field enabling policy makers to link centre characteristics with child, family and social background factors; to focus on the key issues of demand, supply, equitable access and quality. A full report of the Workshop on Data Neeeds  is also available.


  • Oslo, 6-7 June 2002 - on “Expanding access for young children from low-income or minority backgrounds”. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. The discussion paper - Early childhood education and care for children from low-income or minority backgrounds  - was written by Dr. Paul Leseman, University of Amsterdam. Dr Leseman provides an overview of current research on: Intelligence and learning in young children; Child rearing challenges for low-income and minority families; The effects of organised ECEC on child development and learning; Parental choice and its links with socio-economic and ethnic attributes; and, Quality and efficacy: implications for ECEC systems design and policy.


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