Early childhood and schools

OECD Starting Strong Teaching and Learning International Survey



The TALIS Starting Strong Survey provides early childhood staff and centre leaders with an opportunity to share insights on their professional development; pedagogical beliefs and practices; and working conditions, as well as various other leadership, management and workplace issues.

The survey seeks to identify strengths of and improvement opportunities for early childhood learning and well-being environments across different countries and jurisdictions, while identifying factors that are open to change.

The survey also builds on the OECD‘s study of the teaching profession, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). This survey will not only compare early childhood settings within and across countries, but also highlight points of commonality with, differences between and transition from early childhood to primary education. Information gained from the data will inform and facilitate policy discussions about staff’s working conditions, and enhance the overall quality of the workforce.

The survey is part of the OECD’s long-term strategy to develop early childhood education and care data, and will serve as the foundation for future analyses of what works for young children.

Cross-country analysis of these data seeks to address the following questions:

  •  Who are the early childhood education and care staff in participating countries? What are their beliefs and motivations and how do these relate to working conditions and their self-efficacy (i.e. teachers’ beliefs in their ability to achieve the desired results in the playroom)? What can policy do to help attract, retain and develop qualified staff?
  • What does quality look like in early childhood centres for children under the age of three? What are the qualifications and practices of staff that work in these centres and home-based settings, and how do they differ from services for older children?
  • What is the definition of quality early childhood settings, and how do their structural characteristics link to staff’s beliefs, practices and interactions with colleagues and the children in their care?
  • Do staff working with children from different social and cultural backgrounds report the same levels of quality (e.g. the quality of interactions between staff and children)? Does staff job satisfaction, working conditions and self-efficacy vary according to the composition of the children’s group?
  • How do staff characteristics, training, practices and job satisfaction compare across pre-primary and primary education? What measures are in place to ensure a smooth transition across these education levels?

 Who participates in the first cycle?

  • Nine countries are participating in the main survey (Chile, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Norway, Turkey) that evaluates staff and leaders working in "pre-primary education" (i.e. ISCED level 02), typically attending to children ages three to five.
  • Four of those countries (Denmark, Germany, Israel, and Norway) will also survey the staff and leaders working with children under the age of three in registered ECEC settings.
  • Approximately 30 ECEC centres per country, with 8 staff per centre in the field trial;
  • Depending on the national or regional context, a probabilistic sample of at least 180 early childhood centres per country will be surveyed. Per centre, 8 staff members will be asked to participate in the main survey.
  • The United States, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan have contributed to the development of the questionnaires..

 When will the survey be implemented?

  • 2016: developing and piloting of survey instrument (October)
  • 2017: field trial (May-June)
  • 2018: main survey (first half of the year in Northern Hemisphere, second half of the year in Southern Hemisphere)
  • 2019-2020: analysis and reporting

 Flyer on the OECD TALIS Starting Strong Survey


For further information, please contact the OECD TALIS Starting Strong Survey team, startingstrongsurvey@oecd.org;
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 92 65.



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