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Outcomes of early childhood education: Literature review

L.Mitchell, C.Wylie and Margaret Carr

This literature review was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to provide policy makers with a synthesis of research that analyses the impact of early childhood education (ECE) for children and families.

It addresses three questions:

  1. What (short-term and long-term) developmental, educational, social, and economic outcomes are associated with participation in ECE for learners and their families?
  2. Are different outcomes associated with different population groups and under different circumstances/ contexts? In particular:
    • What types of institutional (e.g. differences in educational/care systems, types of services), funding and regulatory arrangements/frameworks are associated with achieving positive outcomes?
    • When are adverse impacts more likely and for whom?
  3. How do different outcomes interact/relate with one another?
    • What is the size/significance of the different impacts of ECE?
    • How long do the effects last?
Year published: 
Publication type: 
Literature review
Ministry of Education
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Linda Mitchell
Margaret Carr