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  • 1. The Early YearsAn International Perspective Westminster Education Forum 10th May, 2011 Deborah Roseveare Head, Education and Training Policy Division OECD
  • 2. Why invest in high quality ECEC?Three rationales:1. ECEC has significant economic and social payoffs2. ECEC supports parents and boosts female employment3. ECEC is part of society’s responsibility to educate children, a measure against child poverty and educational disadvantage 2
  • 3. ECEC has significant economic and social payoffs The Heckman Diagram 3
  • 4. What brain research showsSource: Council Early Child Development (2010) from World Bank, Investing in Young Children, an EarlyChildhood Development Guide for Policy Dialogue and Project Preparation, 2011. 4
  • 5. Impact on PISA scores80 Score point difference associated with attending pre-primary school for more than one year, after accounting for socio-economic background7060 United Kingdom50403020100 Source: PISA 2009 5
  • 6. All children gain from high quality ECEC … …and disadvantaged children gain moreDisadvantaged children more likely to participate when programmes are universal (i.e. offered to all children)Universal programmes have higher costs, but deliver larger net benefits.However, it takes decades to obtain the full benefits .... .....while the ECEC costs are incurred up frontAnd benefits are conditional on “quality” 6
  • 7. Researchers and practitioners typically define quality as:a) Structural quality: b) Process quality: – space – interactions between – group size educators and children – qualifications of staff – family involvement – Curriculum content and – interaction between children length and appropriate materials and toys – pedagogy 7
  • 8. The OECD project "Encouraging Quality in ECEC“ points to 5 policylevers to improve quality:1. Setting out quality goals and regulations2. Setting out curriculum guidelines and/or learning & well-being standards3. Developing quality workforce (education, training, and working conditions)4. Engaging families and communities5. Advancing research, data collection and monitoring 8
  • 9. Some factors that could strengthen implementation(lessons from OECD analysis of Making Reform Happen)• Explain clearly underlying principles and aims of reforms and build consensus around them• Make effective use of evidence to shape policies• Actively engage all stakeholders in formulating and implementing policy responses• Provide reassurance to ECEC staff and managers that they will be given the tools and support to make the changes needed• Invest in change management skills in ECEC leadership and the ECEC system more broadly 9
  • 10. Thank youwww.oecd.org/edu/earlychildhood 10