Pursuing Quality in Early Learning: Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

With the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a platform for
achieving quality early childhood care and education outcomes by 2030, ECCE policy-makers,
practitioners, and academicians from Asia-Pacific countries gathered at the second Asia-Pacific
Regional Policy Forum on Early Childhood Care and Education in Putrajaya, Malaysia in 2016
to share experiences, innovations, and lessons learned in developing and implementing ECCE
policies and initiatives.

At the end of the forum, participants expressed their common commitment to ECCE through the
Putrajaya Declaration. It highlighted a nine-point action agenda to support the achievement of
SDG 4.2; “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development,
care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.” In addition to SDG
4.2, the SDGs also recognize the need to “substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers,
including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially
least developed countries and small island developing states” (UN, 2015).

In response to this global need as well as recognizing the critical roles that teachers have
in early childhood development, UNESCO has engaged in initiatives in various parts of the
world in contribution to the professionalization and capacity development of ECCE teachers
including the development of the competency framework for ECCE teachers in Southeast
Asia. The framework was developed in a consultative and participatory manner, taking into
consideration views and insights from ECCE teachers, researchers, and practitioners from across
Southeast Asia.

This document first provides a brief background, and discusses the purposes and intended
audience for which the framework was developed (Section I). A succeeding section reflects on
the regional ECCE landscape (Section II), before proceeding to a discussion of the ECCE teacher
competency framework for Southeast Asia (Section III). Section IV suggests possible uses of the
ECCE teacher competency framework; a final section concludes with areas for future action.