Excerpts from the press release:
[This] policy was drawn up on the basis of international research and practices together with evidence, data and experience from the local context. The document is divided into three main sections:
Section 1 provides a brief overview of policy-related issues and recommendations drawn up by the OECD in conclusion of a review of early childhood services in twelve countries. This section is complimented by detailed information about early childhood education and care services in five countries. The literature emphasises the contributions of the family, the education sector and society's impact on the development of an ECEC policy.
Section 2 focuses on ECEC in the local context including child day-care services for the under threes, Kindergarten provision for three and four-year-old children and the first years in compulsory, primary schooling. Apart from mapping the historical development of the sector, data are included about the types of provision available and the qualifications of staff currently employed in the field, their pre and in-service training opportunities. Information about the methodology and practices, which are culturally accepted and promoted, transition issues across different services and the current situation concerning evaluation, monitoring and research, is also included. This section also highlights issues that need to be addressed in the Maltese context.
Section 3 provides recommendations, which can contribute to the provision of good, quality care in the field. Recommendations are divided into broad areas relating to: financing, participation and access, transition; ratios; staff qualifications; learning programmes; monitoring and evaluation as well as evaluation and research.