Encouraging Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care

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					Encouraging Quality in Early
Childhood Education and Care




 Deborah Roseveare
 Head, Education and Training Policy Division

 Israel Accession Seminar
 22-23 November, 2011
          Why invest in high quality ECEC?

1. ECEC has significant economic and social payoffs

2. ECEC supports parents and boosts female employment

3. ECEC is part of society’s responsibility to:
   – educate children
   – combat child poverty
   – help children overcome educational disadvantage
                Benefits of high quality ECEC

ü better child well-being and learning outcomes as a foundation for lifelong
  learning
ü more equitable child outcomes and reduction of poverty
ü increased intergenerational social mobility
ü more female labour market participation
ü increased fertility rates
ü better social and economic development for society at large
                       Why does quality matter?

Studies show
§ ECEC quality impacts
   children’s cognitive and
   socio-emotional outcomes
   at later ages and stages
§ Poor quality ECEC
  provision can have lasting
  detrimental effects on
  children’s development
§ Quality impact often comes
  through socio-emotional
  channels
                              What is quality?

•   Quality means different things to different people
•   Can be defined in terms of child development outcomes or quality of
    services
•   General agreement that high quality involves social, cultural,
    educational and economic outcomes for children
                        What is OECD doing?

Developing an Online Policy Toolbox for identifying how to improve
quality in ECEC

Policy levers:
    1. Setting out quality goals and regulations
    2. Designing and implementing curriculum and standards
    3. Improving workforce conditions, qualifications and training
    4. Engaging families and communities
    5. Advancing data collection, research and monitoring
Policy Lever 1: Setting out quality goals and regulations
ü align resources with prioritised areas
ü promote more coordinated child-centred services
ü level the playing field for providers
ü help parents make informed choices


Policy Lever 2: Designing and implementing curriculum and
  learning standards
ü ensure consistent quality for ECEC provision across different settings
ü help staff to enhance instruction strategies
ü help parents to better understand child development
Policy Lever 3: Improving qualifications, training and working
conditions
üECEC staff play the key role in ensuring healthy child development and
learning
üAreas for reform include:
    – qualifications
    – initial education
    – professional development
    – working conditions
Policy Lever 4: Engaging families and communities
ü Parents and communities should be regarded as “partners” working
  towards the same goal
ü Home learning environments and neighbourhood matter for healthy
  child development and learning


Policy Lever 5: Advancing data collection, research and monitoring
ü Data, research and monitoring are powerful tools for
    ü improving children’s outcomes
    ü driving continuous improvement in service delivery
        What children should learn in ECEC and how?
Curriculum and standards can reinforce positive impacts on children’s
learning and development
üEnsure even quality across different settings
üGuide staff on how to enhance children’s learning and well-being
üInform parents of their children’s learning and development

Countries take different approaches to designing curriculum
q Academic approach makes use of staff-initiated curriculum with
cognitive aims to prepare children for school
qComprehensive approach is child-centred and focuses on holistic
development and well-being
      Effects of academic and comprehensive curriculum models

Which "model" is most likely to improve a child's... Academic                      Comprehensive
IQ scores                                                              X
Motivation to Learn                                                                          X
Literacy and Numeracy                                                  X
Creativity                                                                                   X
Independence                                                                                 X
Specific Knowledge                                                     X
Self-confidence                                                                              X
General Knowledge                                                                            X
Initiative                                                                                   X
Short-term outcomes                                                    X
Long-term outcomes                                                     X                     X
                      Source: Barnett et al., 2010; Eurydice, 2009; Laevers, 2011; Schweinhart and Weikart,
                      1997.
Blending both cognitive and socio-emotional development in an
integrated curriculum may be best
But consensus not yet reached:
•American researchers more likely to support academic approach
•European researchers more likely to emphasise non-cognitive learning

Cultural aspects and value systems also play a role
•Asian value systems emphasise group interests which may not mesh
well with an individual child-centred approach

Evidence from neuroscience also suggests that both cognitive and socio-
emotional development are important
Sensitive periods in early brain development




                                 Source: Council for Early Child Development (2010).
        How countries approach curriculum – age ranges

Birth to 2 ½-3 years   2 ½-3 years to compulsory school

               Birth to compulsory school
                       2 ½-3 years to compulsory school

               Birth to compulsory school

                  Birth through early years of school

                                  3 years through to 18 years
Content of ECEC curriculum




                    Source: OECD Policy Toolbox, forthcoming
Curriculum subjects




                 Source: OECD Policy Toolbox, forthcoming
                Strategy options for developing and
                      implementing curriculum

Challenge 1: Defining goals and content
• Setting out clear curriculum goals and guiding principles
• Developing standards or attainment targets
• Reviewing or analysing curriculum to improve relevance
• Supporting local initiatives in setting up their own curriculum
• Involving stakeholders in the design process
               Strategy options for developing and
                     implementing curriculum


Challenge 2: Curriculum alignment for continuous child development
• Aligning curriculum with broader quality goals and assessment
  practices
• Adopting a unified curriculum for care and early education
• Aligning ECEC curriculum with other levels of education
              Strategy options for developing and
                    implementing curriculum

Challenge 3: Dissemination and communication about the framework
• Informing stakeholders about curriculum change through seminars
  and meetings
• Communication with staff through written forms of dissemination
• Communicating with parents
               Strategy options for developing and
                     implementing curriculum

Challenge 4: Effective Implementation
• Ensuring stakeholder buy-in by involving them in the design process
• Piloting before implementing nation-wide/state-wide
• Providing practical support materials
• Setting out guidelines for materials or prescribing materials
• Revising initial education, designing and providing demand-driven
  training
• Providing expert assistance to ECEC providers
• Improving working conditions to stimulate effective implementation
               Strategy options for developing and
                     implementing curriculum

Challenge 5: Systematic evaluation and assessment
• Integrating curriculum as part of monitoring process
• Link evaluating/reviewing the curriculum framework with quality
  improvement
                Lessons learnt in developing and
             implementing curriculum and standards

1. Orient the curriculum reform to focus on “child” and “holistic
   development”
2. Engage key stakeholders and relevant experts in the process
3. Ensure coherence in learning and broader social environment for
   continuous child development
4. Adopt a planning timetable that allows sufficient time for consultation,
   awareness raising and implementation
5. Ensure that ECEC centre leaders can effectively manage financial
   and human resources as well as pedagogic practices and, in
   addition, train staff for effective implementation
6. Use simple and common language to draft the curriculum that can be
   easily understood by staff and parents
         Thank you!
www.oecd.org/edu/earlychildhood

				
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