Decent work for early childhood education personnel: Where are we ten years after the adoption of the ILO Policy Guidelines?

published 21 November 2023 updated 27 November 2023

On November 30, Education International will host an online event to assess the progress made in implementing the ILO Policy Guidelines on decent work for early childhood education personnel and reflect on new developments in the sector. The discussion will be informed by the special edition of the I-BEST survey that explored the health and well-being of early childhood education workers across 9 territories in 2023.

Ten years ago, in 2013, the International Labour Organization brought together government, employer, and worker representatives to agree on a set of policy guidelines to promote decent work for early childhood education (ECE) personnel, with the aim of ensuring universal access to quality ECE.

Since then, several developments have had a significant impact on the working conditions of those who work with the youngest children. ECE personnel have been among the education workers whose employment conditions were most affected by the pandemic, facing dismissals, loss of income or being forced to take annual leave.

The 2023 edition of the International Barometer of the Health and Well-being of Education Personnel (I-BEST) provides fresh insights into the main challenges facing early childhood educators. The I-BEST is a semiannual global study conducted by the Education and Solidarity Network and the MGEN Foundation for Public Health, in collaboration with Education International and the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education. A total of 4,254 ECE personnel from France, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Argentina, Quebec, Canada, and Cameroon responded to this survey. Of those, 80% are teachers, 90% are women, and 90% work in the public sector. All work with children aged 3 to 5.

A panel bringing together education unions, the ILO, UNESCO, and the OECD will discuss the survey findings and how the ILO Policy Guidelines can be used to address new and old challenges.

To find out more, join us online on Thursday, November 30, from 15:00, Brussels time.

Register today at https://eiie.io/DecentWork-ECE

Interpretation into English, French, and Spanish will be available.