Early childhood

The Issue

UNICEF in Action

Resources on Early Childhood Development


Monitoring ECE quality

© UNICEF/CEECIS2013P-0172/Zohidov
Quality is critical for children's social and cognitive learning.

Quality is a dynamic concept that changes with time and across contexts

In 2012, the UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS developed a framework for monitoring the quality of early childhood education (ECE). The aim is to support countries in the region to track and improve the quality of ECE services. This web interface synthesizes the framework and presents a set of tools that can be used to assess and monitor the quality of ECE according to seven components. It offers:

a) An introduction, rationale and scope for the work,

b) Guidance on how to use the tools presenting in the framework, and

c) A compendium of tools for monitoring the quality of ECE along with information about each tool and links to those tools available online.

The definition of quality in early childhood education comprises seven fundamental components:

  1. Physical learning environment

  2. Teaching and learning processes

  3. Teacher quality

  4. Curriculum

  5. School readiness outcomes

  6. Leadership

  7. Parent and community participation

These components were selected because they play vital roles in improving the quality of ECE services in the region in an equitable way. They were identified through a desk review that was conducted for the background paper that supports this framework and toolbox.

The seven components above are not exhaustive; the definition of quality can be adapted and the core components can be changed according to local priorities and contexts. Countries, according to their needs, should prioritize specific components, and add or delete less relvant components.





How to use these tools

Physical learning environment

Teaching and Learning Processes

Teacher quality


School Readiness Outcomes


Parent and community participation





Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education

A framework and toolbox for monitoring and improving quality in early childhood education (2011)


This publication is a working document that provides policymakers and other stakeholders in early education with a menu of tools to improve the quality of ECE services in the CEE/CIS Region. 

(PDF documents require Acrobat Reader to view.)

Examining Early Childhood Development in Low-Income Countries

A Toolkit for the Assessment of Children in the First Five Years of Life



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