Presentation on theme: "UNICEF league table, 2008 UNICEF Report Card No.8, 2008 25 OECD countries 10 ‘minimum standards’ for early childhood education and care Ireland came joint."— Presentation transcript:
UNICEF league table, 2008 UNICEF Report Card No.8, OECD countries 10 ‘minimum standards’ for early childhood education and care Ireland came joint bottom of the league table – only 1 out of 10 standards Some recent improvements, but Ireland still performs poorly by international standards
10 ‘minimum standards’ (2008) IrelandNZFinlandSweden National plan 1 year paid parental leave Subsidised services for 25% of under-3s Subsidised services for 80% of 4 yr olds 80% of staff (incl childminders) trained 50% of early ed centre staff graduates Min ratio of 1:15 1% GDP Child poverty less than 10% Universal early child health outcomes Number of benchmarks achieved16810
What Ireland can learn from Finland Or what Olli Rehn didn’t tell us... Finland’s financial crisis in the early 1990s saw the Finnish Government spend billions on rescuing the banks, unemployment reached 20%, asset prices halved, and real GDP dropped 14%... BUT in spite of this – Finland’s expenditure on ECCE (and on education) is among the highest in the world And the results are impressive - in ‘PISA’ assessments of education outcomes for 15 year-olds, Finland is the highest-scoring country in the OECD
Of course there are many factors But the quality of care and education services for young children in Finland is a key reason Formal school only begins at 7 in Finland ! Before that age, there is a well-developed system of high quality early care and education services, with a holistic, play-based curriculum framework Finland (0.9% GDP) invests much more than Ireland (0.3% GDP) in early childhood services
Some indicators from UNESCO report for September 2010 World Conference on ECCE FinlandIreland Total population5.3 million4.4 million GDP per capita (US$)51,00060,000 % GDP on early childhood services0.9 %0.3 % Paid leave (maternity + parental)9 months6 months Entitlement to an ECCE placeFrom 9 monthsFrom 3 yrs 2 mths Minimum qualification for lead educators for 0-3 year olds GraduateNone Childcare cost to family with 2 children aged 0-3, % of net income 7 %29 % Care / Education in governmentUnitary systemSplit system
Child outcome indicators FinlandIreland PISA score – educational outcomes for 15 year olds (OECD average = 498) 553 (highest in OECD)509 % of children living in households in poverty 4 %16 %
The lesson from Finland Even in the middle of an economic crisis, we should be ambitious. That is why our Children 2020 report contains both: –A long-term vision for the direction we want to take over the next decade and more, and –Recommendations for actions that can be taken right now, at no cost.