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This three year landmark international study has produced a number of key documents. The final report, 'Starting strong: Early childhood education and care', was released at an international conference co-organised by the OECD and the Swedish National Agency for Education in Stockholm, June 13-15, 2001.
'Starting strong' provides a comparative analysis of major policy developments and issues in twelve OECD countries. It highlights innovative approaches, and proposes policy options that can be adapted to varied country contexts. What are the most promising strategies for organising policy in ways which promote child and family well-being? Looking towards the future, the report proposes eight key elements of successful policy for decision makers seeing to promote equitable access to quality early childhood education and care.
Invited by the participating countries, OECD expert teams evaluate in each country policy, programmes and provision for children from birth to compulsory school age. Prior to the review, participating countries publish a Background Report describing current policy and practice, and outline the challenges that ECEC policy faces in the coming years. After the expert review, the OECD publishes a Country Note that notes the issues observed, and suggests solutions and recommendations for the consideration of the competent authorities
To date 18 countries have been reviewed: Australia, Belgium (two communities), Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States. Three countries remain to be reviewed in 2004: Austria, Germany and Spain.