SEAMEO INNOTECH is currently working on a policy research that will look into the quality assurance systems of early childhood care and education (ECCE) in SEAMEO member countries. The study is an undertaking of the Center’s Research Unit, funded through the SEAMEO INNOTECH Regional Education Program (SIREP) and done in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC). The overall goal of the policy research is to assess policies, mechanisms and criteria for ensuring the quality of early childhood education for children aged 0 to 5 years. It covers government programs and services offered in public nursery, day care centers, play schools, kindergarten, and pre-schools. More specifically, the study will take a closer look at (1) strategic approaches to ensuring quality; (2) curriculum and learning frameworks; (3) good practices that support the development stages of children aged three to eight; (4) teacher quality standards, including implementation, monitoring and evaluation; (5) teacher supervision; (6) minimum quality standards of classroom materials and equipment; (7) success stories and lessons learned; and, (8) issues/challenges, and recommendations to address such. Among the countries involved are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. The research design includes the conduct of a survey on ECCE quality assurance practices in each of the participating countries. Nominated research experts and policy makers will then present the results in an experts meeting that will highlight quality assurance framework, as well as programs and policies for ECCE. An important component of this policy research is the conduct of study visits and case studies in selected SEAMEO member countries—Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The visits will include dialogues and continuing interaction with ECCE practitioners and policy makers. The policy research is expected to be completed by December 2011 but initial results of the study will be shared at the ARNEC’s regional conference in November.

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