Date: 31-03-2015

Counting on Quality: Measuring and Improving Quality in Early Childhood Environments

Measuring and Improving Quality in Early Childhood Environments A group of experts on early childhood supported by ISSA, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, in partnership with the World Bank and the Brookings Institution met in Leiden, the Netherlands to draw attention to the importance of measuring and improving quality in early childhood environments. Their challenge was to recognize points of consensus in measuring quality; identify how to increase strength and innovation and how to navigate cultural applicability of quality measurements. This exceptional opportunity for specialists from around the world to converge and combine their thoughts and skills was held in Leiden’s Child Rights Home. Discussions around quality in early childhood environments have increased in recent years, while dilemmas concerning methodology, measuring and consistency remain largely unresolved. The ambition of the meeting was to establish an agenda around which these questions can be answered. Following intense discussions the group agreed on a number of points necessary for measuring quality services and environments. They discussed how systems should monitor compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and form a protective shield for early childhood development and quality family life. By the end of the meeting three main themes emerged: the growing appreciation of the natural or built environment; versatile data design and the involvement of communities in defining and measuring quality. And finally, to capitalize on the wealth of expertise, their commitment to the issue, and to encourage scaling, participants expressed an interest in establishing a global network around quality. The full report with all the findings is available here. If you would like more information please contact ISSA's Communications Officer, Noeleen O'Hara: nohara@issa.nl