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How can the comparability of early childhood education and care statistics be improved?

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Education indicators in focus #70
Publication Date: 
21 Aug 2019


• The types of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services available to children and parents vary significantly both within and across OECD countries making international comparisons more complex than for any other level of education.

• The revised ISCED [International Standard Classification of Education] 2011 classification makes significant progress towards improving international comparison of ECEC services. The new version includes several criteria to better identify services with a similar level of educational content and captures for the first time services designed for children under the age of 3.

• But ISCED 2011 has some limitations. The classification excludes some well-developed ECEC services that are considered an integral part of ECEC provision in some countries but do not comply with all the ISCED 0 criteria. Their recent inclusion in enrolment statistics has enabled interesting new forms of analysis.

• While much progress has been made in recent years, more work is needed to develop ECEC indicators and to consider other characteristics that affect their interpretation and comparability across countries.

Entered Date: 
21 Aug 2019
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