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Review of the ILO policy guidelines on the promotion of decent work for ECE personnel

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Byrne, C., Mayol Lassalle, M., Semmoloni, C., & Urban, M.
Publication Date: 
20 Mar 2024

Executive summary

This report offers an analysis of the application of the ILO (2014) Policy Guidelines on the Promotion of Decent Work for ECE Personnel and provides recommendations for review. It addresses key themes, including the voluntary nature of a commitment level among state and non-state stakeholders, challenges in holding governments accountable without legal obligations, and the difficulties in establishing a standardised and workable monitoring framework.

The report highlights the significance of the ILO Guidelines in promoting decent work for Early Childhood Personnel (ECP), while acknowledging the need to address challenges to ensure universal implementation and accountability. The research emphasizes the ongoing global efforts to assess and advance the progress of the ILO Guidelines by Education International, which aligns with the 10th anniversary of promoting decent work for ECP.

The significance of non-binding documents, such as the ILO ECE Guidelines, can influence political attitudes toward accountability for implementation. Touseef et al. (2023) discuss how, in nations with a strong cultural emphasis on collective responsibility and societal well-being, even non-binding ILO Guidelines may be more seamlessly integrated into national frameworks. However, in countries with diverse cultural perspectives, the lack of legal obligations might affect political attitudes, creating challenges to integrating the ILO Guidelines with deeply ingrained values. The absence of binding legislation may contribute to a slower progress in implementation, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between cultural contexts, governmental priorities, and international standards to ensure effective integration (Daniell, 2014).

This review delves into the complexities of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector, exploring key dimensions and challenges. It addresses the multifaceted nature of ECE, the difficulties in applying standardized ILO Guidelines due to diverse environments, and the impact of public and nonstate entities on global and national variations. The review underscores challenges in implementing ILO Guidelines for a diverse ECE workforce, particularly those beyond the reach of unions and, more specifically, teachers’ unions. It also highlights limitations in data and the urgent need for multi-sectoral and integrated data, as well as monitoring and evaluation strategies that are relevant for the complex ECE environment. The intricate interplay of these factors emphasizes the necessity of nuanced approaches for successful Guideline promotion and implementation across diverse regions.