Global Guidelines for the Education and Care of Young Children

A revised version of the Global Guidelines is being developed.

Childhood Education International is committed to providing resources that enhance childhood education programs throughout the world. The Global Guidelines Assessment (GGA) is an evidence-based instrument designed to help early childhood professionals systematically examine and improve the quality of their program services, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.[i] The GGA has been developed as a global tool and therefore can be used in early childhood programs around the world.

The GGA is based on a document called the Global Guidelines for Early Childhood Education and Care (Global Guidelines), which was developed in 1999 by educators from more than 27 countries at a forum sponsored by Childhood Education International (then known as the Association for Childhood Education International [ACEI]) and OMEP, a world organization for early care and education. In 2003, ACEI separately developed and released the first edition of the GGA. The GGA was specifically designed to involve local stakeholders in the process for evaluating and improving early childhood care and education (ECCE) program quality.[ii] Childhood Education International encourages ECCE stakeholders to use the GGA either to design new early childhood programs or to improve existing programs.

Download the Global Guidelines Assessment:
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Educating Young Children: A Basic Guide for Training Teachers and Caregivers for Preschool Through Early Primary School Grades

Dr. Sue Wortham developed this teacher training guide. The early care and education training in the guide is based on Global Guidelines for the optimal care and education of young children. The content of the training generally follows the Global Guidelines for Early Childhood Education and Care in the 21st Century (Global Guidelines) and the Global Guidelines Assessment.

You can download the Guide here.

Global Guidelines for Early Childhood Education and Care

The Global Guidelines for Education and Care (Global Guidelines) was developed to provide a global framework for ensuring that young children around the world receive appropriate and quality care, education, and development services. The framework was developed in 1999 by a group of more than 80 international early care and education experts from 27 countries during a forum sponsored by ACEI and OMEP, a world organization for early care and education. A key contribution of the Global Guidelines framework has been to inform the initial development of the Global Guidelines Assessment (GGA).

You can access the historical document, Global Guidelines for Education and Care, here.

Using the ACEI Global Guidelines Assessment for Quality Improvements in Early Childhood Programs

The GGA is appropriate for early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs serving children in the birth to 72-month-old age range or any subset of this age range (e.g., preschool-age children or infants and toddlers). The GGA is designed for applicability in any type of group setting, including services taking place in a child care center, a school, a community building, or under a tree in the outdoors.

The GGA contains 76 indicators of ECCE program quality in the following five content areas:

  • Environment and Physical Space
  • Curriculum Content and Pedagogy
  • Early Childhood Educators and Caregivers
  • Partnerships With Families and Communities
  • Young Children with Special Needs.

The GGA is designed to provide a balance between being sensitive to cultural variations and promoting meaningful early care and education constructs that are globally applicable. Therefore, for each of the 76 indicators, the GGA includes both a 5-point rating scale (excellent to inadequate) and a space to record examples that support each rating. The ratings help professionals gauge the quality of their ECCE program services within the context of global recommended practices, and the written examples provide evidence for the ratings that is grounded in the local culture and context of the program.

The GGA can be administered at specified checkpoints (e.g., beginning and end of the year) or used for ongoing improvements. For example, at the beginning of the year, the GGA may be administered to obtain a baseline of a program’s services and then used to develop a quality improvement plan. The GGA can then be re-administered at the end of the year to examine progress toward better program quality. Or, it can be used throughout the year as a tool for examining incremental improvements once the initial administration has taken place.

Results of the GGA can be applied to:

  • Assist ECCE programs in meeting requirements for quality services
  • Provide specific information for identifying program areas that need improvement
  • Guide professionals in the establishment of new program services
  • Train teachers, paraprofessionals, clinicians, and parents on quality program practices
  • Conduct research on early childhood care and education programs
  • Help states, municipalities, and other stakeholders responsible for the operation of ECCE programs reform current regulations and establish national policies towards quality evaluation.

Development of the ACEI Global Guidelines Assessment

Investigating the Psychometric Properties of the ACEI Global Guidelines Assessment in Nine Countries

[i] Barbour, A., Boyer, W., Hardin, B., & Wortham, S. (2004). From principle to practice: Using the global guidelines to assess quality education and care. Childhood Education, 80, 327-331.
Hardin, B. J., Bergen, D., & Hung, H-F. (2013). Investigating the psychometric properties of the ACEI global guidelines assessment (GGA) in four countries. Early Childhood Education Journal, 41(2), 91-101.
[ii] Bergen, D., & Hardin, B. J. (2015). Involving Early Childhood Stakeholders in Program Evaluation: The GGA Story. Childhood Education, 91(4), 259-264.
Cecconi, L., Stegelin, D. A., Pintus, A., & Allegri, R. (2014). Utilizing a global environmental assessment tool to facilitate professional development: The voices of kindergarten teachers in Italy. International Journal of Early Childhood, 46(2), 205-229.
Diwan, M. S., Nazarali, S., & Kelly, K. L. (2015). From measurement to action-using programmatic assessments to promote ‘Quality in ECD’: Model exemplars from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and U.A.E. ARNEC Connections, 9, 25-27.
Rentzou, K. (2010). Using ACEI global guidelines assessment to evaluate the quality of early child care in Greek settings. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(1), 75-80.