The Pre-primary Subsector Analysis Tool operationalizes the Build to Last conceptual framework. It aims to support national stakeholders assess the strengths and weaknesses of all aspects of their pre-primary subsector (including equity, inclusion, gender, crisis setting considerations).
This assessment will support developing comprehensive strategies and action plans to address key subsector challenges. It also enhances understanding of the key components of an effective ECE/pre-primary subsector and how the components interconnect in coherent, powerful ways.
The analysis tool is based on the conceptual framework and has six modules, one for each of the five core functions, plus a module on the enabling environment:
- Module 1: Planning and budgeting
- Module 2: Curriculum development and implementation
- Module 3: Workforce development
- Module 4: Family and community engagement
- Module 5: Quality assurance
- Module 6: Enabling environment
All modules begin with a brief description of the purpose and focus (the core function or key factor in the enabling environment), followed by content on:
- Goals the pre-primary subsector should prioritize in order to build a stronger system and achieve results for children.
- Measures of progress for each goal. The measures are intended to encourage self-assessment and reflection, and to support monitoring of the pre-primary subsector’s performance.
- Questions to accompany each measure. These questions do not cover every possible topic, and they may not all be relevant to your country’s context. They are intended to jump-start dialogue on some of the issues to consider in achieving the measures of progress.
Using this tool will enable the ECE Technical Working Group (TWG) or stakeholders to:
Conduct an in-depth examination of the ECE subsector through a systems approach; and
Use the analysis to identify strengths, gaps, underlying challenges, and emerging opportunities.
When to Use this Tool
The Pre-primary Subsector Analysis Tool can be used across all phases of the education sector planning cycle, from the ESA through sector review:
- It serves as a critical complement to the ECE data mapping exercise to enable a “deep dive” analysis of the ECE subsector.
- It supports building consensus on which aspects of the ECE subsector work well and which aspects require strengthening.
- It supports identifying underlying challenges that are at the root of the problems and issues of the ECE subsector.
- The results emerging from the deep-dive analysis may feed into the ESA report and inform the formulation of strategies in the context of ESP development.
- It supports to further validate the findings of the ESA report as well as unpack the underlying challenges that are at the root of the problems/issues of the ECE subsector.
- It helps inform the policy priorities and strategies to be included in the ESP.
- It may support reflections whether the ECE strategies, corresponding activities and associated targets and indicators are achieved.
- It supports identifying whether adjustments to the ESP and Operational Plan are needed.
Finally, individual institutions or country education clusters/LEGs/EiE Working Groups that manage and/or directly provide ECE services in countries affected by emergencies or conflicts may also use this tool. It may support the identification of ECE challenges to inform further questions to include in rapid needs assessments, situation analyses, and critical subsector information to include in emergency response proposals, joint response frameworks and/or Transitional Education Plans.
Beyond the ESP processes, the results from using this tool can be used for building stronger ECE systems in general. The table below outlines: (a) the module title and basic goal for analysis; (b) the main topics covered in each module; and (c) brief suggestions for how you might use the analysis results to build a stronger system.
Table 1. Basic content of the Pre-primary Subsector Analysis Tool’s six modules
Planning and budgeting
Curriculum development and implementation
Family and community engagement
|Goal for analysis||
To support reflection and discussion on the development of strong and responsive plans, across levels of government, for equitable provision of quality pre-primary education, making efficient use of available financial, human and physical resources
To support reflection and discussion on ensuring that children across pre-primary settings benefit from a developmentally appropriate curriculum and have access to learning and play materials that stimulate their development
To support reflection and discussion on the recruitment, development, and retention of a sufficient number of pre-primary teachers and other key personnel within the subsector, ensuring that they have the essential competencies, training and support required to promote children’s positive development and early learning
To support reflection and discussion on ensuring that families and communities are active participants and partners in supporting pre-primary programmes and children’s learning and development across early learning settings
To support reflection and discussion on ensuring that a coherent framework for monitoring the quality of pre-primary education is in place and that quality monitoring produces information at the relevant local, regional and/or national levels to support continuing improvements in both policy and practice
To support reflection and discussion on the four catalysts of a strong and supportive environment for the pre-primary subsector (ministerial leadership; policies and legislation; financing; public demand)
|Main topics of the modules||
Evidence-based planning and budgeting
Budget needs and financing mechanisms
Governance and accountability
Monitoring and implementation
Defining a pre-primary curriculum framework and the content of the curriculum
Disseminating and implementing the curriculum widely
Regularly reviewing and improving the content of the curriculum and its use
Establishing a strategy for recruiting pre-primary staff, based on clearly defined staff qualification requirements and competency profiles
Implementing effective and flexible pre-service training programmes, including alternative pathways to qualification and initial training
Implementing evidence-based programmes for continuing professional development, including setting up career pathways for the subsector
Promoting continuous improvement and staff retention through coordination and monitoring of pre-primary workforce development programmes
Engaging families and communities as strategic partners in pre-primary education
Supporting families in fostering positive home learning environments
Building adequate capacities across the subsector to engage with families and communities effectively
Establishing comprehensive standards for quality
Establishing functional quality assurance mechanisms, based on the overarching goals
Strengthening capacities across the subsector to monitor quality
Ensuring that quality monitoring facilitates quality improvements
Policies and legislation
|How results of analysis can be used||
Inform the development of an evidence-based plan, policy or strategy for the delivery of high-quality pre-primary education
Inform the strategic priorities and plans for delivering pre-primary services
Identify budget needs and financing mechanisms
Establish clear governance and accountability structures for implementation of the plan
Strengthen monitoring systems for evidence generation during plan implementation
Inform the development of a curriculum framework or curricular standards
Initiate curriculum reform
Develop a curriculum dissemination and implementation strategy
Inform review of curriculum content
Develop a monitoring framework for curriculum implementation
Develop pre-primary teacher competency frameworks (job profiles and competences)
Inform strategies for personnel recruitment, training, deployment, retention, and exit
Establish or revise pre-service training programmes or alternative pathways to qualification or initial training
Establish or improve professional development programmes
Strengthen mechanisms for continuous improvement, staff retention, motivation and performance monitoring
Inform the development and implementation of a national or subnational strategy for family and community engagement
Support the development of approaches to foster children’s learning at home
Support approaches to strengthen system-wide capacities to engage families and communities
Inform the design of a quality assurance framework with quality standards for service delivery
Strengthen mechanisms for a functional quality assurance system
Strengthen regulations, quality assurance and monitoring for improved service delivery
Inform review and course correction of subsector plans
Inform the pre-primary subsector situation analysis
Inform the development of pre-primary policy directives, strategies, or other laws and regulations
Make the case for fiscal space increases or financial allocations for pre-primary education
Organize and institutionalize a structure for leadership and governance within the ministry of education
Increase public demand and advocacy for quality pre-primary education
Key Considerations when Using the Pre-primary Subsector Analysis Tool
Underlying challenges (or “root causes”) of ECE problems/issues
Identifying all underlying challenges of the ECE subsector is important because it provides an understanding of the gaps and weaknesses that are at the core of the ECE subsector and that need to be addressed. This then facilitates the formulation of solutions (i.e., the strategies) that address these underlying challenges/root causes, rather than the symptoms of it.
Ultimately, identifying the ECE subsector’s underlying challenges/root causes of problems will:
- Enable prioritization of challenges that further shape ECE policy priorities/goals;
- Support the formulation of ECE strategies and activities that will feed into the ESP and Multi-Year Action Plan.
There is no standardized approach to identifying the main causes of the ECE subsector’s problems/issues. It will remain a question of best judgment based on discussion and consensus building. Using the Pre-primary Subsector Analysis is one way to reflect on these underlying causes.
Problem trees can also help. In a problem tree analysis, different issues are considered and ordered in a cause/effect relationship based on a focal problem. For more information and examples of problem tree analyses and how to turn them into objective trees (to help with the selection of strategies to consider for the ESP), please see Section 2.2 of MOOC Module 4.
The problem tree analysis can serve as a complementary activity as part of the ECE subsector analysis exercise using the Pre-primary Subsector Analysis Tool (see Section B), to revisit and delve deeper into the underlying challenges if needed for one or more core functions (or all). The template in the “Additional Resources” section can be a helpful resource to validate the challenges that emerge from the use of the Pre-primary Subsector Analysis Tool.