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Early Childhood Education Study

The IEA Early Childhood Education Study (ECES) is a cross-national study that aims to explore, describe, and analyze the provision of early childhood education across countries and how it contributes to children's outcomes.

ECES will provide a framework for countries to benchmark their early childhood education systems in an international context. The study will collect information on children's competencies at the end of early childhood education, and will also gather a rich array of data about policy aims, characteristics of early childhood education systems and settings, leadership and quality assurance processes, staff qualifications and pedagogic practices, and home background.

Target population

The target population for the assessment module consists of children attending center-based education and care in the final year of ISCED 0.


The first national research coordinators meeting was held in July 2013. Framework and instrument development are being carried out in 2013–2014. The policy questionnaire was administered in late 2014, and the policy report will be published in October 2015. The field trial will be conducted in September 2015–March 2016, and the main data collection is planned for September–November 2016 (southern hemisphere countries) and April–June 2017 (northern hemisphere countries). The international reports will be released in September–December 2018.


The international study coordination of ECES is managed by a consortium consisting of four partner institutions: IEA Data Processing and Research Center, National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales, Centre for Research in Early Childhood in England, and IEA Secretariat. These institutions will work in cooperation with the national research coordinators of participating countries.


ECES is funded by IEA and fees from participating countries.

Participation fees for ECES are assessed in two currencies. The fee is USD 25,000 plus EUR 25,000 per year, for each of the six years of the project (2013–2018).

For more information, please visit the ECES website.

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