Study on the integration of ECCE

The Roving Caregivers Programme is part of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Jamaica

©UNESCO/Gary Masters

Caring and Learning Together: Study on the integration of ECCE within education

Early childhood care and education (ECCE) generally embodies two different traditions: care and education. The former was often developed as welfare measures for working-class children who needed care while their parents were at work; the latter as kindergarten or pre-primary education, providing middle-class or all children with enriched educational activities prior to formal schooling. This division between care and education has strongly influenced the organization and conceptualization of ECCE, and resulted in split systems’ discontinuities and inequalities between childcare and early education sectors due to differences in access, availability, resourcing and quality. 

To reduce the adverse effects of 'split systems', two main strategies have been employed: greater coordination and integration. Caring and Learning Together: A Cross-National Study on the Integration of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) within Education, a UNESCO study on ECCE governance, focuses on examining the policy option of integrating ECCE within the education system, which is being adopted by a growing number of countries. It analyses and documents the experience of five countries - Brazil, Jamaica, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden - and one municipality - Ghent in Belgium - which have chosen this option, to generate a better understanding of the rationales, processes and consequences of integration within education. It also looks at why other countries have not followed this course of action.

This UNESCO study offers a rare assessment of the policy of integrating care and early education services within education, and provides key policy insights and recommendations on the subject.

Synthesis Report

National and municipality reports

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