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Building a high-quality early childhood education and care workforce: Further results from the Starting Strong Survey 2018

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Andreas Schleicher presents the new findings from the second volume of TALIS Starting Strong.

The work of early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals is the major driver of the quality of an ECEC system. As evidence accumulates on the strong benefits of investing in early education, countries need effective policies to attract, maintain and retain a highly skilled workforce in the sector. This report looks at the makeup of the early childhood education and care workforce across countries, assessing how initial preparation programmes compare across different systems, what types of in-service training and informal learning activities help staff to upgrade their skills, and what staff say about their working conditions, as well as identifying policies that can reduce staff stress levels and increase well-being at work. The report also looks at which leadership and managerial practices in ECEC centres contribute to improving the skills, working conditions and working methods of staff.

The OECD Starting Strong Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS Starting Strong) is the first international survey that focuses on the early childhood education and care workforce. It offers an opportunity to learn about the characteristics of ECEC staff and centre leaders, their practices at work, and their views on the profession and the sector. This second volume of findings, Building a High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce, examines factors that influence the skills development of ECEC professionals, their working conditions and well-being at work, and leadership in ECEC centres.

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Building a high-quality early childhood education and care workforce: Further results from the Starting Strong Survey 2018

  1. 1. Building a High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce: Further results from the Starting Strong Survey 2018 TALIS 30 November 2020
  2. 2. 2 What is TALIS Starting Strong? An international survey of staff and leaders in early childhood education and care Ask staff and leaders about their working practices; training and satisfaction; views about the sector 9 countries: Chile, Denmark (with low response rates), Germany, Israel, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Turkey 2 levels of education: pre-primary (all countries); settings for children under the age of 3 (4 countries) ?
  3. 3. Staff working conditions and well-being Leadership and management Staff education, training and skills development Main question of this report: How to attract, maintain and retain a high quality ECEC workforce? 3
  4. 4. How can staff develop their skills along their career? 4
  5. 5. How can staff develop their skills along their career? Pre-service education and training Training to work specifically with children Practicum In-service training Formal activities Informal learning Induction Features of quality: Breadth and alignment of training 5
  6. 6. Education beyond secondary level (ISCED 4) and training to work with children are not universal among ECEC staff Percentage of staff with the following highest level of education and with training specifically to work with children 6
  7. 7. Staff whose pre-service programmes included a “practicum” covered more areas of training Average percentage of pre-primary staff covering each thematic area in their pre-service education or training 7
  8. 8. Participation in training is high, especially for teachers and experienced staff Percentage of staff having participated in professional development activities in the last 12 months Centres for children under age 3 Pre-primary (ISCED 02) 8
  9. 9. Centre-embedded models of professional development are less common than off-site training activities Average percentage of pre-primary staff participating in each type of in-service training activities in the 12 months prior to the survey 9
  10. 10. Staff are confident about their ability to promote children’s socio- emotional development, but less so about working with a diversity of children and using digital technology Average percentage of pre-primary staff reporting that they feel they can do the following in their work with children 10
  11. 11. Average percentage of pre-primary staff engaging in collaborative practices with different levels of frequency Some cooperation practices can be expanded 11
  12. 12. The benefits of broad and well-aligned training Staff who covered a greater number of areas in their training have a higher sense of self- efficacy for supporting child development and learning Staff who deepen knowledge of an area acquired in initial preparation through ongoing professional development report adapting more their practices to children’s needs and interests Across areas Along time 12
  13. 13. Thematic breadth of pre-service training and of recent in-service training Average number of thematic areas covered by ECEC staff in their pre-service education and training and in professional development activities in the 12 months prior to the survey 13
  14. 14. Some knowledge/competencies are explored in both pre and in- service training Average percentage of pre-primary staff in each training trajectory, by thematic area 14
  15. 15. ECEC staff working conditions and well-being 15
  16. 16. Satisfaction with the job is high Percentage of staff answering the following to the statement “All in all, I am satisfied with my job” 16
  17. 17. A majority of ECEC staff would choose again to be an ECEC staff Percentage of staff who “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement “if I could decide again, I would choose to work as an ECEC staff” 17
  18. 18. Retirement is the most likely reason to leave the profession together with leaving for health-related issues, suggesting high levels of stress Percentage of pre-primary education staff reporting the following reason as the most likely reason to leave the ECEC staff role, by age group, average of participating countries 18
  19. 19. Not all ECEC staff feel valued by society, and teachers and more educated staff are less likely to feel so Percentage of staff who “strongly agree” with “I think that ECEC staff are valued in society” 19
  20. 20. Job demands - Job content (e.g. administrative tasks versus with children) - Workload - Size and composition of the classroom/playgroup - Regulations, inspection Job resources and rewards - Education and training; informal learning - Material resources - Control over decisions - Support from leaders - Salaries - Career progression opportunities Well-beingStress What are the relationships between working conditions, well- being and stress? 20
  21. 21. Satisfaction with salary is low and improving salaries is a budget priority according to ECEC staff Percentage of staff answering the following to the following items 21
  22. 22. Differences in hours worked is driven by hours with no children Average number of weekly hours of full time workers spent on tasks related to the job at the ECEC centre 222222
  23. 23. Part of ECEC staff report to need for more support from their leaders Percentage of staff reporting the following to “I need more support from my ECEC centre leader” 23
  24. 24. Main sources of stress relate to workload coming from insufficient resources and work outside hours spent with children Chile Germany* Iceland Israel Japan Korea Norway Turkey Denmark** Workload stress coming from work outside hours spent with children Too much preparation work for children's activities 13 2 19 11 10 12 6 10 7 Too much work related to documenting children's development 16 23 5 16 13 27 5 16 20 Too much administrative work to do 19 16 4 16 21 38 10 15 20 Workload stress coming from insufficient human or financial resources Extra duties due to absent staff 13 33 15 10 7 10 22 6 22 Too many additional duties (e.g. cleaning) 8 20 15 16 11 27 15 12 8 A lack of resources (e.g. financial , material, staff) 18 29 26 22 27 33 26 21 36 Too many children in my classroom/playgroup 18 29 39 34 9 29 31 16 24 Stress due to work with children and job-related responsibilities Being held responsible for children's development, well-being and learning 15 8 5 17 15 11 4 13 6 Managing classroom/playgroup/group behaviour 16 7 13 24 11 15 9 11 10 Keeping up with changing requirements from authorities 10 11 10 19 8 24 9 10 10 Addressing parent or guardian concerns 11 6 6 12 14 28 4 17 4 Accommodating children with special needs 12 10 10 13 15 12 10 11 16 Percentage of pre-primary staff who report that the following is “a lot” a source of stress 24
  25. 25. What can be done to buffer stress at work?  Ensure that unfavourable working conditions do not accumulate on some ECEC staff (e.g. large classrooms and a diversity of children populations) Based on Job demand/ resource-reward models Help staff deal with job demands Work on effective buffers Develop buffers that have not been found to be fully effective  Support from leaders  Self-efficacy  Satisfaction with salary  Training related to the source of stress  Collaborative practices  Control over decisions 25
  26. 26. Making the most of leadership and management practices 26
  27. 27. Based on leaders’ reports at pre-primary level, average across participating countries ECEC leaders’ responsibilities tend to be greater for pedagogy related tasks than for budget decisions 27
  28. 28. Leadership functions Hierarchical leadership structure Distributed leadership structure Engagement with parents Engagement with community How can leadership be characterised? 28
  29. 29. In most countries, ECEC leaders spend most of their time on administrative leadership, followed by pedagogical leadership Average proportion of time leaders report spending on different tasks during the 12 months prior to the survey 29
  30. 30. ECEC leaders of small centres spend more of their time on interactions with children Proportion of time ECEC centre leaders report spending on interactions with children, on average during the 12 months prior to the survey, by centre size 30
  31. 31. Frequency of ECEC centres’ communication with parents or guardians Percentage of leaders who report that the following activities take place in their centre Pre-primary (ISCED 02) Centres for children under age 3 31
  32. 32. Percentage of staff and leaders who “agree" or “strongly agree” that staff are involved in centre decisions Perceptions of opportunities to participate in centre decisions are positive, but less among staff than among centre leaders 32
  33. 33. Drivers and implications of strong ECEC leadership: What do the data say? In most participating countries: Distributed leadership and pedagogical leadership go together Staff who perceive leadership as being more distributed collaborate more frequently and report higher satisfaction with their job Pedagogical leadership is positively associated with staff attitudes and practices linked to quality in ECEC settings Leaders whose initial preparation focused on early childhood and/or pedagogical leadership report more engagement in pedagogical tasks 33
  34. 34. Staff who perceive more opportunities for participating in centre decisions are at least twice as likely to report high job satisfaction Likelihood of staff reporting satisfaction with job among staff “strongly agreeing” that their centre leader encourages all staff to have a say in important decisions, relative to other staff 34
  35. 35. Barriers to professional development for ECEC centre leaders Percentage of ECEC centre leaders who reported that they “agree” or "strongly agree" with the following barriers to professional development I do not have the pre-requisites Professional development is too expensive Professional development conflicts with my work schedule No time because of family responsibilities No relevant professional development offered No incentives for professional development Not enough staff to compensate my absence % % % % % % % Pre-primary education (ISCED 02) Chile 7 67 62 29 32 59 48 Germany* 4 34 25 14 27 17 47 Iceland 5 28 42 19 21 27 44 Israel 5 24 31 44 18 47 49 Japan 16 42 76 35 30 35 56 Korea 39 58 86 51 55 72 80 Norway 3 39 31 19 2 7 39 Turkey 10 30 53 31 15 35 35 Denmark** 1 33 28 9 12 15 31 Centres for children under age 3 Germany* 1 39 28 13 27 16 53 Israel 11 41 55 36 20 65 53 Norway 5 41 28 16 4 12 43 Denmark** 1 35 34 8 17 12 29 35
  36. 36. Promoting equity through a strategic distribution of the strengths of the ECEC workforce 36
  37. 37. In most countries, the share of staff with training for working with children from diverse backgrounds is greater in ECEC centres with a higher diversity of children Percentage of staff with training to work with a diversity of children in both pre-service and recent in- service training, by the composition of children in the ECEC centre Pre-primary (ISCED 02) Centres for children under age 3 37
  38. 38. Socio- economic background Children's first language Socio- economic background Children's first language Socio- economic background Children's first language Socio- economic background Children's first language Socio- economic background Children's first language Pre-primary education (ISCED 02) Chile + Germany* - + Iceland + - Israel - + + Japan Korea Norway Turkey - - Denmark** Centres for children under age 3 Germany* Israel + + Norway + Denmark** - Hours worked by staff working full time Percentage of time staff spent working with children Percentage of staff satisfied with salary Percentage of staff who need more support from their ECEC centre leader Percentage of staff stressed by a lack of resources Difference by composition of children in the ECEC centre In some countries but not all, staff in more challenging centres face less favourable working conditions Differences in staff working conditions and stress related to the composition of children in ECEC centres Less favourable Difference is not significant More favourable Missing values 38
  39. 39.  Adopt high standards for ECEC initial preparation programmes, and create the conditions to support both formal and informal learning among ECEC professionals  Ensure that unfavourable working conditions do not accumulate on some ECEC staff and that the status and reward of ECEC professions are aligned staff responsibilities  Set the conditions for ECEC centre leaders to fulfil their multiple functions, and develop a shared understanding of how leadership can best support quality in ECEC centres  Target enhancements in staff professional development and working conditions and in leadership development in ECEC centres with more diverse populations of children What do these findings imply for policies? 39
  40. 40. Questions? startingstrongsurvey@oecd.org www.oecd.org/education/school/earlychildhoodeducationandcare.htm 40 * Estimates for sub-groups and estimated differences between sub-groups in the TALIS Starting Strong 2018 data need to be interpreted with care. See Annex B for more information. ** Low response rates in the survey may result in biases in the estimates reported and limit the comparability of the data. This document and any map included herein are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

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