How to use these tools
The regional quality framework provides a menu of tools to support stakeholders to evaluate the quality of ECE services in their contexts; it is not intended to act as a comprehensive assessment to be applied in its entirety to ECE services. When applying this framework, stakeholders are encouraged to pick and choose the components of quality, the tools and the strategies that are most applicable to their contexts.
Countries are also encouraged to build on the structure of this framework to develop national ECE quality frameworks and locally relevant tools. The following steps summarize the guidance offered in Chapter 6:
1. Establish ECE Quality task force to coordinate the quality assessment. The task force should include relevant ministry officials, local partners working on ECE and international partners. If possible, it should be chaired by a Ministry of Education to official that can champion that findings and advocate in government for improved quality in early education. (Ideally this would be an official with a strong personal commitment to ECE)
2. Review this framework’s components, definitions and indicators through collaborative process. Discuss the components and categories of this framework amongst task force members in the context of existing knowledge of ECE quality in your country. Review existing assessments or analysis of ECE quality in your context.
3. Identify the component(s) of quality that will be assessed in priority. After discussing the information that exists and comparing the quality framework, decide together on which of the components should be assessed first according to the needs and opportunities in your context.
4. Review the tools listed for chosen component(s) and identify which tools may be useful in your country context. Once you have identified which components will be evaluated, identify which tools listed in the following chapters may be used or adapted and then used. It may be that none of the tools listed here are sufficient in their current form for your context; many of the tools are very complex. If this is the case, the tools can act as a foundation for a local research team to develop locally relevant tools that draw from internationally accepted tools.
5. Adapt the tool(s) to your context. All tools listed in this framework will need to be adapted, even those that have already been piloted in the region. Quality is a very context-specific concept and so any tools should be as closely aligned as possible to the local environment.
6. Select research team to design and conduct assessment(s), which should include a pilot of the adapted tools. The research team may be international or local (or a mix). The team should consist of experts in M&E but also experts in ECE. If student interviews are required, the research team MUST have team members who are experienced in working with young children.
7. When initial assessment is complete, debrief on the results and develop advocacy and follow up strategies based on the findings. The results of the assessment are only the first step in improving ECE quality and in ensuring longer term quality monitoring systems. Once the reports are available the task team should come together to discuss the results, identify advocacy messages and develop follow up strategies for disseminating the results. This would also be an opportunity to discuss the possibility of developing a national framework for monitoring the quality of ECE.