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ECES Policy Questionnaire


The IEA Early Childhood Education Study (ECES) Policy Questionnaire collects basic information about the wider policy context for early childhood education (ECE) provision in each participating country.


In particular, the aims of the Policy Questionnaire are to:

  • Capture evidence on the wider policy context for ECE in each participating country from birth to beginning of International Standard Classification of Education 1 (ISCED1). This period is referred to as ISCED 0 by UNESCO-UIS(2012);
  • Give an overview of policy strategies and the systemic and structural results of ECE policy at national and, where necessary, sub-national level;
  • Establish the political commitment and systemic approach to delivering ECE services in each participating country;
  • Develop a typology of potential policy and systemic responses to delivering ECEC services;
  • Describe the identified and stated consequences of these policies for practice and outcomes for children.

One questionnaire per country will be completed by the National Research Coordinator (NRC) (or a country designate) to provide national level evidence. It includes questions on:

    1. Public policy: provides information on stated policy aims; the location of responsibility for ECE; the proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) devoted to ECE provision and expenditure per child; the legislative status and statutory entitlements for ECE and care; the statutory entitlements to parental leave and pay; and key policy changes in ECE.
    2. Delivery models and providers: provides information on policy implementation such as provider types for different ages of children; provider size; whether different providers attract different groups of parents/ primary care-givers; funding mechanisms and processes; transition points and the relationship of early care and education to the school system.
    3. Access and participation: provides information on the percentage of the pre-school population accessing ECE; participation by child characteristics; the diversity of provision and cultural responsiveness; accessibility, barriers to participation and strategies to address these; the cost to parents, subsidies and early intervention programs.
    4. Quality systems: provides information on the regulatory environment; staff qualifications and training; group size and ratios; health, safety and child protection; ECE curriculum guidance; quality assurance, accreditation, inspection, reporting and accountability.
    5. Expectations for child outcomes: provides information on expectations for child outcomes for different age groups, whether these are recorded and how outcome data is used in policy and practice.

ECES Policy Report


The Policy Report aims to

  • Present information on the wider policy context for ECE in each participating country
  • Facilitate understanding and provoke dialogue about the inter- and intra-country variations in ECE policy responses and the delivery of ECE systems
  • Highlight key differences and similarities across a range of agreed policy indicators clustered into five structural and systemic aspects of ECE policy
  • Stimulate dialogue and ECE policy and system development in participating countries
  • Provide up to date, comprehensive and comparative data on possible ECE policy responses and system features
  • Identify patterns and emerging issues in policy and system responses which add value to current and future knowledge creation and policy development in participating countries
  • Analysis of how different systems offer access for disadvantaged children
  • Analysis of how targeted and universal approaches work in different contexts
  • Evidence on the use of child outcomes data to inform system development and improvement
  • Include individual country profiles with focused data and analysis of ECE policy and systems
  • Offer a baseline data for Phase 2 of the ECES study and also for PIRLS and TIMSS studies