Hello and Welcome!
The launch of ecdmeasure.org, the Measuring Early Learning Quality and Outcomes project site, comes at an exciting time for early childhood development. The Sustainable Development Goals include an explicit mention of early childhood development, based on decades of science demonstrating the importance of ECD for later learning and well-being. The new Lancet series on early childhood summarizes the strong basis for investing in early childhood, and many initiatives are underway to support countries in building more effective early childhood programs and policies, including the World Bank’s Early Learning Partnership, UNICEF’s early childhood development initiatives, and many others.
With this growth in programs, many countries and organizations are also interested in measuring the outcomes of their investments. The SDGs also includes an explicit focus on ECD measurement, with a global indicator measuring the “percent of children developmentally on track,” to be measured with UNICEF’s household survey, the MICS Early Childhood Index (ECDI). UNESCO Institute for Statistics has also recently undertaken an effort to address early childhood measurement as part of the SDGs, through the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning.
What We’ve Learned
Since MELQO began in 2014, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve noted the many measures that have been developed and the strong interest in early childhood measurement at global, regional and national levels. We’ve observed the points of commonality in measures used now, and we have also noted the critical importance of aligning measures with cultural and national priorities – which may make measures that are unique to a country or a region. Reflecting our priority of technical strength, we have developed several versions of the MELQO tools, beginning with one version and learning from strengths and limitations once we tried it in the field. Perhaps most importantly, we have learned from seeing how the data are used – the leadership of education ministries and multi-laterals in applying the data for the sake of improving children’s well-being, and the ways we can design measures to do a better job of supporting these advocates for young children.
The measures we have posted here include our latest and best thinking. They are also likely to change over time, we hope, as we learn from users like you. We have created this site to provide an opportunity to use the resources and share ideas, with the intention of bringing us all closer to building the types of measures that promote action for young children.
Thank you for visiting! We look forward to working with you.