A COMPARISON OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE (ECEC) POLICY IN KOREA, GERMANY, AND THE UNITED STATES
Nam, Bok Hyun
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Nam, Bok Hyun
This study aims at proposing desirable policy directions for ECEC in Korea in order to achieve ECEC goals by comparing the ECEC of Korea to that of Germany and the U.S. Suggestions for ECEC in Korea are: creating MOGEF-oriented, unified administration; increasing public funding; strengthening regulations for improving quality; expanding the range of beneficiaries; and securing equal access for the needy. These three countries are becoming convinced of the importance of provision for young children--both as a first investment in lifelong learning and as a support to the wider economic and social needs of families. Yet participation in ECEC varies, depending on the country. ECEC investment is not homogeneous, and does not yield a constant return. In shaping ECEC investment, countries face a spectrum of policy choices, and have to develop a wide range of systems that vary along several dimensions. At the same time, these tentative conclusions await further refinement and correction in the light of further research about various topics: tax policies such as tax credits and deductions; parental leave policies; preparing for unification with North Korea; expanding female workforces and improving total fertility.