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IELS Study

IELS is the International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study of OECD. The IELS examines the development and skills of five-year-old children. The study focuses on early childhood education, home background and learning environment, and early childhood education experiences.

Data is collected in three ways during the Study.

  • Data on the emergent literacy, emergent numeracy, self-regulation and empathy of five-year-olds is collected with direct assessment of the child’s skills.
  • Additional information on the child’s social and emotional skills is collected with a questionnaire filled out by the early childhood education and care centre’s staff member who knows the child the best.
  • Additional information on the child’s social and emotional skills and the home environment of the child is collected with a questionnaire filled out by the child’s parent or guardian.

The study was launched in 2016. The study has three main phases. Item Trial, the first phase of IELS data collection was carried out from 27 March – 1 April 2017 in the US. Field Test, the second phase of IELS data collection was carried out between October and December 2017 in Estonia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Main Study, the final data collection phase of IELS is carried out from 1 October to 21 December 2018 in Estonia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The early childhood education and care centres participating in the IELS study will be selected randomly. Following the IELS Main Study, a study report and an international study database will be published.

The development and implementation of the IELS study is led by an international consortium consisting of the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER: Melbourne, Australia), IEA Data Processing and Research Center (IEA: Hamburg, Germany), The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA: Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and the Linguistic Quality Control Agency (cApStAn: Brussels, Belgium).

The IELS study is carried out in Estonia by Foundation Innove in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and Tallinn University.

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