Early Childhood Care and Education Policies
【摘要】：The purpose of this study was to analyze, compare and contrast similarities and differences of current government policies of ECCE in China and Zambia. The research has argued that, policy development is a major step to implementing equitable programs for young children. Therefore, governments need to fully support ECCE initiatives to help all children realize their full potential and accord them an opportunity to lead better and productive adult life. The main instrument for the exploration of the study was a comparative and interpretive analysis based on data collected using semi-structured interviews with senior government officials and high ranking stakeholders in ECCE as well as reviewed literature and personal reflections.
Findings from this study concur with published literature that investing in the young offers outstanding returns both in human, financial and economic returns. Findings show increased access and recognition of ECCE although in country differences prevail and are mostly dominated by the private sector. However, there are no stand alone ECCE policy documents, though recognized and recommended in both countries, it is not free and compulsory. A lot of work remains pending on government's agenda and civil society to achieve this EFA goal. The study also revealed that the major setback has been the absence and fragmented policies to inform practice (Zambia), the inadequate allocation of resources to early childhood work, cultural and traditional preferences of raising children and the general low political will to put children first. The research therefore recommends that the ministries of education guide policy formulation, coordination and improve practice, scale up participation of the private sector and enhance promotion of ECCE and its core values.