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 countries and partner economies. The reviews 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.

The new and ongoing OECD Policy Review on “Quality beyond Regulations in ECEC” will support countries to better understand different quality dimensions in ECEC. Find out more / Plus d'informations

To date, five reports have been issued from these reviews:

Starting Strong V (2017)

Starting Strong IV (2015)

Starting Strong III (2011)

Starting Strong II (2006)

Starting Strong I ( 2001)



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.  

Starting Strong 2017 - Key OECD Indicators on Early Childhood Education and Care

TALIS Starting Strong Survey

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

Recent publications



Engaging Young Children - Lessons from Research about Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (available March 27, 2018)

The first years of life lay the foundations for a child’s future development and learning. Many countries have increased their financial support for provision of early childhood education and care (ECEC) over the past years. More recently, the focus of debate has been shifting from expanding access to affordable ECEC to enhancing its quality.  A growing body of research suggests that the magnitude of the benefits for children will depend on the level of quality of early childhood services, with especially strong evidence in the case of disadvantaged children.



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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Télécharger le prospectus

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Related external events

An International Round Table on ECEC Curriculum Frameworks for the 21st Century will be organised by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth of Luxembourg in collaboration with the bureau of the OECD ECEC Network on 12-13 June 2018 in Luxembourg.  The OECD will contribute to the round table by presenting insights from the Future of Education and Skills: OECD Education 2030 project and from the report Engaging Young Children: Lessons from Research on Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care


The 2nd International Early Childhood Action Congress will be organised by the French NGO ‘Ensemble for Early Childhood Education’  on 14-15 June 2018 and hosted at the OECD conference centre in Paris.  The OECD will contribute to this event by presenting our report Starting Strong V: Transitions from Early Childhood Education and Care to Primary Education



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 Child Well-Being Portal is a platform for conducting policy-oriented research on children, enhancing child well-being and promoting equal opportunities among children.

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







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