By the numbers - Preschool provision

10th August 2012 at 01:00

No stranger to life near the top of international education rankings, Finland has been judged as having the best preschool provision in a study of 45 countries. The UK came fourth.

The report, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, considered the affordability, availability and quality of preschool education. It highlighted key areas for countries to focus on in the drive to improve standards, including good-quality teacher training and not rushing to adopt curriculums from other countries without adapting them to local circumstances.

The leading countries had a comprehensive early childhood strategy and a legal right to such education, the report found. Universal enrolment for at least a year of preschool, subsidies for underprivileged families and specific qualifications for preschool workers were other features of successful countries.

Australia, Canada, Singapore and the US performed poorly, despite high average per-head incomes.

Top five countries*

*Scores based on weighted rankings of social context, availability, affordability and quality

Finland: 98.8

Sweden: 98.7

Norway: 88.9

UK: 87

Belgium: 84.7

Bottom five countries*

Vietnam: 31.3

China: 30.7

Philippines: 30.5

Indonesia: 22.1

India: 21.2.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today