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Early Childhood Education in Europe

Research Group at Freie Universität Does International Comparative Analysis of Structure and Impact of Early Childhood Education

№ 246/2014 from Jun 30, 2014

Within the framework of the EU cooperation project CARE, the Early Childhood Education and Care Division at Freie Universität Berlin analyzed the quality of early childhood education in Europe and its impact. As part of the CARE project, in addition to the education scholars at Freie Universität Berlin, researchers from ten other European universities are investigating various aspects of preschool education and child care. The central goal of CARE is to develop an evidence-based and culture-sensitive European framework of developmental goals, quality assessment, curriculum approaches, and policy measures for improving the quality and effectiveness of early childhood education and care.

The researchers compare current studies in different European countries, while taking into account different cultural beliefs and values. In addition, they examine the mechanisms that affect access to early childhood education. The effects of preschool education and how long such effects persist are important aspects that are being investigated. Another aspect is whether there are specific effects for certain groups of children and whether high-quality institutional care can compensate for facets that are missing at home. The researchers are striving for internationally comparable results because the generalizability of results across the regions being surveyed and across specific cultural contexts is of essential importance for developing sustainable policies that will increase the impact of early childhood education and care.

The following institutions are cooperating partners in the CARE project: Freie Universität Berlin, Utrecht University (Netherlands), Oxford University (Great Britain), Aarhus University (Denmark), the University of Leuven (Belgium), the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), the Hellenic Open University (Greece), the ISCTE - Instituto Univesitario de Lisboa (Portugal), Vestfold University College (Norway), and the University of Warsaw (Poland). The coordinator of the project is Utrecht University. CARE stands for Curriculum Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European Early Childhood Education and Care. The project is funded by the European Union.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Yvonne Anders, Early Childhood Education and Care, Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-51675, Email:

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