Center on International Education Benchmarking


The Early Advantage

Rapid Change in Early Childhood Education and Care Around the World


“The growing consensus around the pivotal role that the early years play in lifelong outcomes make the Early Advantage’s novel insights not just provoking, but absolutely vital.”


Buy the Book

Press Release

Case Studies in Depth

Video: Release Webinar

About the Study

As educators and policymakers around the globe grapple with how to best serve their youngest learners, a few systems are taking the lead. A new, groundbreaking study, The Early Advantage, finds that Australia, England, Finland, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Singapore are pioneering new but remarkably different visions for early childhood education and care (ECEC).

In the new book, The Early Advantage 1: Early Childhood Systems That Lead By Example, world-renowned early childhood researcher Sharon Lynn Kagan and her team of international experts examined the innovative approaches to early childhood policy, practice, and service delivery in these leading systems.  Kagan and her team analyzed the quality, equity, efficiency and sustainability of services for young children in the six jurisdictions. The book takes readers on a deep dive into the innovative strategies and approaches to ECEC and offers an insider’s look into common challenges, themes and lessons from these diverse systems.

“This study brings to light the striking new reality facing early childhood education and care systems around the world,” said Kagan. “For the first time, we are seeing clearly the disparate and rapidly evolving global perspectives in ECEC. These differing perspectives and approaches to the “how” and “what” of systemic change reflect a policy and research sphere that is at an inflection point.  Our understanding of the significance of the early years is growing rapidly and the common effort to create public policy and programs that support young children during this critical time are, in many ways, scrambling to keep pace.”

A second book, The Early Advantage 2, is slated to be published next Spring. In that second volume, Kagan and her team will detail the “building blocks” that serve as the cornerstones of high-quality ECEC. These building blocks are the synthesis of the research team’s research into how the differing jurisdictions approach quality and equity in their unique contexts.

Systems in Depth

What Others Are Saying about Early Advantage

Sign up to receive updates from NCEE

* indicates required
Check here if you would like to receive information about NCEE Events in DC