Early childhood and schools

Early Childhood Education and Care - Home


The OECD conducts analysis and develops new data in early childhood education (ECEC) to provide
valid, timely and comparable international information to help support countries review
and redesign policies to improve their early childhood services and systems.




Thematic Reviews



The OECD thematic reviews identify key elements of successful ECEC policies in OECD member and non-member countries. The reports offer an international perspective of ECEC systems; discuss the strengths and opportunities of different approaches;  and provide policy orientations that can help promote equitable access to high quality early childhood education and care. To date, four reports have been issued from these reviews:

Starting Strong IV (2015)

Starting Strong III (2011)

Starting Strong II (2006)

Starting Strong I ( 2001)

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Country Studies



The OECD provides countries with policy advice and in-focus comparative data in ECEC. These are tailor-made, independent reviews of countries’ policies and practices in response to individual country priorities.

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The OECD has consolidated a rich bank of data containing country-specific ECEC information.

Country information

International Data Development



The OECD develops international data on ECEC to provide insights on how different ECEC systems are organised across  the world.  As art of this work, the OECD is developing two  studies that will assist countries to improve quality,  equity and outcomes in the early years.  

TALIS Starting Strong Survey

International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study (IELS)

Recent publications

Starting Strong IV: Monitoring Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care

Research suggests that access to high-quality matters for better child learning outcomes A growing number of countries are establishing monitoring systems to ensure quality and accountability.

This new publication explores how countries can develop and use monitoring systems to enhance service and staff quality for the benefit of children. It offers an international perspective and concrete examples to support policy makers, monitoring experts and practitioners in the field.


The Network upholds the mandate of the Education Policy Committee to assist countries to develop effective and efficient policies for education and learning to meet individual, social, cultural and economic objectives.

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Related OECD Work

Education at a Glance includes a chapter on Early Childhood Education and Care that
looks at how ECEC systems differ around the world. 

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international survey which aims to evaluate education systems by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. PISA 2015 findings show that an investment in early education pays dividends in student’s performance at age 15.

Education GPS is the OECD source with the latest internationally comparable data on education policies and outcomes.

The OECD Family Database and its Child Well-Being module currently include 70 indicators under four main dimensions: (i) structure of families, (ii) labour market position of families, (iii) public policies for families and children, and (iv) child outcomes.

Doing Better for Families (2011) and Doing Better for Children (2009) analyse the role of family and child policies in fostering child well-being.

The 2011 OECD Better Life Initiative led to the inclusion of a dedicated chapter on child wellbeing in OECD (2015) How’s Life? 2015.

Other useful links




Contact the ECEC team



Related Documents