EPSU Childcare network discussed monitoring and evaluation in early childhood education and care

EPSU Childcare network meeting September 2023

(27 September 2023) On 20th September 2023 the EPSU Childcare network met to discuss monitoring and evaluation in early childhood education and care, and the results of a survey on working conditions and professionalisation.

Leena Kaasinen (SuPer) presented  the work the European Commission working group on ECEC is doing on monitoring and  evaluation of quality. She stressed the importance of involving parents, children, and the staff in conversations with stakeholder discussions, as well as the need to focus not only on education, but also  on care. She presented a policy brief about staff shortages and salaries, and mentioned that union’s action is needed at national level. Victoria Szucs (BDDSZ) added that they have not found one best way to monitor and evaluate the quality of ECEC, but they found a number of good practices and solutions, and that it would be good to know about the daily problems for childcare and education in different countries.

Elizabeth Shuey, (Policy analyst OECD) presented the work of the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills ECEC team on recruitment and retention of ECEC staff, specifically professionalisation and salaries. She also presented the results from the Starting Strong teaching and learning international survey (TALIS) where nine countries participated in 2018. The survey included topics such as the level of education for childcare staff, reasons for staff to leave, sources of stress, the low satisfaction with salaries and the value of this work in society. A new survey is foreseen for 2024 with 16 participating countries.

This was followed by a discussion on the situation in the different countries in terms of working conditions, occupational health and safety and issues such as overtime, low recruitment and retention, stress and burnout. It was mentioned that in some countries employers are hiring workers that lack qualifications due to staff shortages.