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The Early Advantage 1—Early Childhood Systems That Lead by Example

A Comparative Focus on International Early Childhood Education

Sharon Lynn Kagan Marc Tucker

264 pages
Teachers College Press

Learn how exemplary countries are dealing with the challenges and joys of advancing the development of their youngest citizens. In this book, Sharon Lynn Kagan and her contributors systematically examine how six diverse countries go about envisioning, designing, and implementing their services to young children and their families. The Early Advantage 1 sheds light on new and exciting approaches to early childhood education and care (ECEC) that are contributing to the quality, equity, efficiency, and sustainability of services for young children. Brimming with fresh insights, the text provides concrete examples of successfully implemented strategies and methods that warrant attention from other countries wishing to improve their early childhood services. The 2-year comparative analysis upon which this volume is based was made possible with funding and support from the National Center on Education and the Economy’s (NCEE) Center on International Education Benchmarking.

Book Features:

  • Presents groundbreaking approaches to early childhood policy, practice, and service delivery from around the globe.
  • Based on contributions from leading scholars and policymakers from six countries: Australia, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore.
  • Acknowledges the important role of culture in shaping the quality and array of services afforded to young children.
  • Uses rigorous research that includes common designs, vetted protocols, and repeated validations.
  • Includes detailed country fact sheets with data on demographics, governmental expenditures, staff qualifications, mandated monitoring systems, and more.
  • Is part of NCEE’s research into the 9 Building Blocks for a World-Class Education System.
Author Bio

Sharon Lynn Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy and co-director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University and professor adjunct at the Child Study Center, Yale University. Her books include The Early Care and Education Teaching Workforce at the Fulcrum, Early Childhood Governance, and Early Childhood Systems.


Rebecca Bull, co-principal investigator, Singapore.

Alfredo Bautista, contributing author, Singapore.

Lily Fritz, contributing author, England.

Bridget Healey, contributing author, Australia.

Sharon Lynn Kagan, principal investigator, U.S.

Kristiina Kumpulainen, co-principal investigator, Finland.

Eva Landsberg, contributing author, National Center for Children and Families, U.S.

Carrie Lau, contributing author, Hong Kong.

Mugyeong Moon, co-principal investigator, Republic of Korea.

Grace Murkett, contributing author, England.

Tom Peachey, contributing author, Australia.

Nirmala Rao, co-principal investigator, Hong Kong.

Kathy Sylva, co-principal investigator, England.

Collette Tayler, co-principal investigator, Australia.