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"Assessing the Evidence on Early Childhood Education": A Systematic Review of the Best Research Evidence

lunch-time at a Kita in GermanyA copy of the full review is available at the end of this article.



The methodologically soundest (best) research over the past 20 years on the effects of participation in early childhood education and care was selected and assessed.

Studies were selected using a set of strict criteria, including that they:

  • followed children from a young age (as opposed to sampling children when they have left or are due to leave to go to school), and
  • were not reports of high cost intervention overseas programmes for different ethnic groups impossible to duplicate here in NZ for the same outcomes.

As the review was a systematic and critical one, and independently conducted, it did not suffer from biases often inherent in literature reviews and publicly funded reviews.  

The findings of this critical and systematic review may be controversial because the findings differ from political claims about what research says. 

This paper presents the major pieces of research and the strongest evidence available on what the positive and negatives effects of childcare are, and discusses the evidence in the light of current policy directions in New Zealand.

To keep reading and view the full article login with your member's username and password

Here’s how our membership plans work:

  • Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals (but not the ECE Service management article area). In addition, individual members can discuss and ask questions of fellow members any time through the online childcare and early childhood education practice, policy, and research discussion forum.
  • Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles. Also, on this membership plan members can access the online discussion forum for individual members AND the online ECE service management / business forum.
  • Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and related research articles only

Should you not hold a current membership –  you are welcome to apply now.

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This plan is for any person who works with children or has an interest in early childcare and early childhood education.

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