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Benchmarks for early childhood services in OECD countries

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Innocenti Working Paper
Bennett, John
Publication Date: 
1 Oct 2008


The Innocenti Report Card 8 presents ten benchmarks for early childhood services. It represent a bold first step towards the ultimate goal of improving the lives of young children by enabling international comparisons to be made in the early childhood field, thereby encouraging countries to learn from each other's experiences. The current paper provides some critical reflections on the challenges involved in establishing the principle of standard-setting in the early childhood field and suggests factors that should command our attention as the principle &em; as is hoped &em; becomes established and the process of standard-setting matures.

Chapter 3 considers in detail the 15 benchmarks that made this original list, which were grouped into four areas: those focusing on child health and family support; those focusing on the governance of early childhood services; those focusing on access to services; and those focusing on programme quality. Each benchmark in turn is defined, the basic criteria proposed for its achievement are outlined, and there is an in-depth explanation of the thinking which lay behind its selection, with particular reference to early childhood system quality and conformity to the Convention on the Rights
of the Child (CRC).

The paper ends with a reference section, followed by an Annex in which the performance of the 25 selected countries across the original, final 15 benchmarks is recorded, country by country. A profile of Canada is on page 84.

Entered Date: 
11 Dec 2008
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