Quality and impact of Centre-based Early Childhood Education and Care

Quality and impact of Centre-based Early Childhood Education and Care. RAND Corporation. Barbara Janta, Janna van Belle, Katherine Stewart. November 4, 2016.

There is a strong association between the quality of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) provision and the outcomes for children, with high quality ECEC being associated with better child outcomes later in life. This brief reviewed the broad range of indicators that have been linked to quality, with a focus on understanding how these indicators relate to quality and eventual child outcomes. Following the academic literature on this subject the authors distinguished between structural quality, which relates to the physical environment and staffing requirement, and process quality, which relates to curricular practices, caregiver qualities, and parental involvement. They found that the interaction between structural and process indicators of ECEC quality is complex, and varies significantly across socio-economic, cultural and national contexts, which reflects the beliefs, needs, roles and motivations of the different stakeholders involved in defining ECEC services. Despite this complexity they identified several structural indicators which are frequently considered indicators of high process quality. For each of these indicators they present policy levers for improving ECEC quality, and discuss the context in which these levers work, i.e. whether they act at national level, family and community level or at the level of the childcare setting. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages, 1.38 MB].

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