Comparing Costs of Early Childhood Care and Education Programs: An International Perspective
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
The purpose of this article is to outline the determinants of early childhood care and education (EccE) costs as well as a method for measuring them, and to set out available cost data provided by countries for their EccE endeavors. The analysis is based upon comparison of available data for 17 countries. We first address why costs may differ significantly for EccE from country to country. Second, we address why existing reporting of costs is highly inconsistent and typically incomplete, including an examination of disparities in reported EccE expenditures across countries. Third, we outline an appropriate way, known as the “ingredients method”, for determining costs that can provide consistent measurement for comparative purposes.