Equity, diversity and inclusion in early childhood education and care

This Policy Brief builds on results from the OECD Starting Strong Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS Starting Strong 2018) to provide an overview of diversity, equity and inclusion issues in early childhood education and care (ECEC). The brief distils key findings from the analyses presented in the companion OECD Education Working Paper Levelling the playing field in Early Childhood Education and Care: Results from TALIS Starting Strong 2018. In this work, the diversity profiles of ECEC centres in the nine participating countries are identified according to the share of children to whom four dimensions of diversity may apply: socio-economic disadvantage, special education needs, different first language, and refugee status. ECEC centres where several dimensions of diversity accumulate (i.e., apply to high shares of children) are also identified. Promoting equity and inclusion in ECEC may require allocating resources and implementing practices in response to those diversity profiles. Variation in indicators of quality of ECEC, including both structural and process quality factors, is then analysed between more and less diverse ECEC centres within each country. Results indicate that countries face distinct challenges in promoting equity and inclusion in ECEC. Policy considerations for countries include investigating directions to reduce the concentration of diverse children in ECEC centres; allocating additional material and human resources to more diverse ECEC centres; and providing further training for ECEC staff and centre leaders to respond to the needs of children and families from diverse backgrounds.