Definition: Early childhood education and care
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is defined as any arrangement for children aged 0 to 12 outside compulsory school involving elements of physical care, socialisation and/or education.
These arrangements include day care centres, pre-school, before- and after-school facilities, family-type day care (both regulated and unregulated), in both the private and public sector, regardless of the administrative auspices (education, health, social welfare or a combination of these), of the age group served (infants and toddlers; pre-school children; compulsory school-aged children), of where care and/or education takes place (pre-primary school; centre; home; in-own-home) or of the intensity of care and/or education (full-time, part-time).
Informal arrangements with relatives, friends, neighbours and other adults are also included.
In practice, this means that all forms of care and early education are considered here, except those provided by parents.
Eurostat, "Development of a methodology for the collection of harmonised statistics on childcare", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2004