The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) has published a research note that examines the medium and long-term impact of early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision on education and labour market outcomes for children and parents, as well as the indicators employed for these measurements.
A number of studies have provided evidence on the impact of ECEC provision on medium- and long-term education outcomes for children, and secondly on employment outcomes both for children (when they enter adulthood) and for parents.
However, more studies are needed to understand the impact on the personal, economic, and societal benefits of ECEC participation in the medium- and long-term across diverse national systems.
Furthermore, to date, there has been a distinct lack of evidence-based recommendations that suggest how such outcomes might be measured at a national or multinational level to build a better international evidence base.
Our research notes reviews existing evidence from 26 studies
The research note draws on evidence from 26 studies (both academic and from governmental sources), to advance policymakers’ understanding of how ECEC provision impacts on the medium- and long-term outcomes of children (in terms of education and employment) and parents (in terms of employment), and how better evidence could be collected in Europe.
This is particularly important given the European ECEC policy goals articulated in the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Barcelona Targets, as well as the scale of investment in early childhood services.
Evidence suggests that the Member States and the EU could support better evidence-base by building a strong approach to data collection and analysis. The studies reviewed suggest some helpful ways in which this might be done:
- Using existing administrative data related to educational and labour market outcomes
- Collecting additional data on a range of additional variables such as quality and duration of ECEC and demographic data of children and their families.
- Linking existing datasets and having systems that are standardized allowed this to happen.