Is free early childhood education a sustainable solution? Evidence from the case study of Nanjing

Yu QIAN, Xiurong GU, Hui LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This case study adopted a mixed methods approach to understanding how and why the free early childhood education (ECE) policy in Nanjing, China, was formulated, implemented, and failed, using the “policy cycle” framework. Many countries have implemented the free ECE policy to solve affordability and accessibility problems without considering policy sustainability; thus, they have to discontinue the policy. Nanjing is no exception. Altogether 232 kindergarten principals and teaching/research staff were randomly sampled and surveyed, and 5 kindergarten principals and 5 teaching/researcher staff were interviewed. The results indicated that there were many obstacles to the policy’s sustainability, including conflict of interest, inefficient policy implementation, insufficient funding, and more social inequality issues. Additionally, the policymakers made mistakes in the five domains of the policy cycle: the context of influence, the context of policy text production, the context of practice, the context of outcomes, and the context of political strategy. Finally, the three important lessons for a more sustainable policy decision process are discussed. Copyright © 2022 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6586
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Citation

Qian, Y., Gu, X., & Li, H. (2022). Is free early childhood education a sustainable solution? Evidence from the case study of Nanjing. Sustainability, 14(11), Article 6586. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116586

Keywords

  • Early childhood education (ECE)
  • Free early childhood education
  • Policy cycle
  • Sustainability

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