Quality in early childhood education is a prominent concern for policy-makers and has recently become a priority for many international and European organisations. More recently, the Council of the European Union (2017) highlighted the need to prioritise high-quality early childhood education and care to address inequalities in lifelong learning. Given these international concerns, the Agency undertook a three-year project (2015–2017) entitled Inclusive Early Childhood Education.
It aimed to identify, analyse and subsequently promote the main characteristics of quality inclusive early childhood education (IECE) for all children from three years of age to the start of primary education. The project was grounded in the relevant research and policy literature, data collected through observations of example IECE settings in several countries, descriptions of examples from practitioners across Europe, and questionnaires on national developments in IECE in all Agency member countries. This report is a summary of the synthesis report (European Agency, 2017a) that brings together the main project findings.