Connecting All Children to High-Quality ECE: Promising Strategies From the International Community


Commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), American Institutes for Research (AIR) approached our directors, Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram to gain better understanding of the British Early Care and Education (ECE), in order to highlight those practices that ensure all children, including those from vulnerable families, have access to high-quality ECE. Chris and Tony participated in a high level seminar in Princeton where they presented the IEA study findings. They also were part of several fact sharing panels during the seminar, all of which fed into the final report.

High-quality ECE provides an important foundation for young children’s success in school and in life. Yet, in the United States, fewer than two out of three children between the ages of 3 and 6 are enrolled in centre-based ECE programs. Moreover, children from low-income families are much less likely to receive formal early care and education than their counterparts in more affluent families. Federal and state programs attempt to address these discrepancies, but large numbers of children eligible for these programs remain unserved.
With support from RWJF, AIR conducted a scan of efforts to improve access to quality ECE for low-income, minority families in the United Kingdom and other countries that might inform learning and practice in the U.S. context. Because many other countries have higher participation rates in formal ECE programs than the United States, AIR expected that such a scan could identify successful strategies that could be applicable in the United States.
The scan, focused on formal, centre-based care, found that policies and program models that seem to be associated with high rates of ECE engagement among low-income families in a variety of European countries have identified the following factors as being particularly important:


1. Engaging parents and communities as partners in the ECE system
2. Making ECE part of a continuous birth-to-school system
3. Ensuring adequate and stable funding (making ECE a budget priority)
4. Providing preferential access for high-priority groups to high-quality ECE within the context of universal provision of services


For the full report, please click here:
For the brief, go to: .




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