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People's Republic of China: China early childhood development: Early childhood education in Yunnan

Yunnan is a medium-sized and relatively poor Chinese province on the southwestern border of China. There is a long history of collaboration between Yunnan Province and the World Bank over the last three decades. In 2012, the Yunnan Department of Education formally requested Bank support in conducting a review of early childhood education policies and programs in order to gain an in-depth and evidence-based understanding of the challenges the province faces in expanding early childhood education--in particular to rural and mountainous regions. The Bank's China Education Team embarked on raising funds, designing and implementing a rather elaborate research agenda around early childhood education. The goal was to investigate key challenges, and to propose policy interventions for expanding the Early Child Development (ECD) coverage in rural Yunnan. The research included five interrelated studies: (i) a survey of existing ECD policies and institutions in Yunnan; (ii) the financing of preschool education; (iii) a household survey of a representative sample of 3-6 year olds in rural Yunnan; (iv) a survey of preschool quality in Kunming using the internationally recognized Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale--Revised for Pre-Schools (ECERS-R) scale; and (iv) a comprehensive study of preschool teachers covering qualifications, career development, salaries, as well as demand and supply. This report presents the findings from the background studies, and draws potential policy implications for improving the access to and quality of preschool education in Yunnan province. (author abstract)
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