Reforming Early Childhood Education as a Smart Investment for the Future: Stories from East Asia

  • I-Fang Lee
  • Chao-Ling Tseng
  • Hong-Ju Jun
Part of the Critical Cultural Studies of Childhood book series (CCSC)


Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) has been (re)nar-rated as an imperative socioeconomic investment in the twenty-first century. Globally, a popular and dominant discourse that “treats” ECEC as a good social investment through the theoretical lens of “human capital” has shifted the meanings of ECEC into pure economic rationality “seeing” quality provision in the early years as an effective approach for promoting economic growth in the future (e.g., see Heckman, 2012; The White House, 2014). Noticeably, in Starting Strong (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2001, 2006, 2011), it is emphasized that high-quality ECEC can make a major and positive contribution to any country’s national development and success in the new global knowledge-based economy. Hence, it is common to see how governments across different geopolitical spaces have come to acknowledge education as a critical driving force for promoting national development and progress while maintaining competitiveness in the global economy.


Early Childhood Education Preschool Education Childcare Center Voucher Scheme Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 
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Copyright information

© Theodora Lightfoot-Rueda and Ruth Lynn Peach 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • I-Fang Lee
  • Chao-Ling Tseng
  • Hong-Ju Jun

There are no affiliations available

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