Pedagogical staff is crucial to ensure high quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Current dynamics and challenges lead to increased demands and changed working conditions in ECEC. Despite similar challenges in various countries, for example in light of professionalization of the workforce, there were no cross-country international comparative studies before 2018 on the working conditions and satisfaction, the pedagogical practice, the job profiles and the professional self-image of pedagogical staff.

Therefore, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducts the “TALIS Starting Strong Study” (OECD Starting Strong Teaching and Learning International Survey) in cooperation with international and national partners.

For more information on the focus, design and methods of the study, please consult the official OECD survey homepage:  TALIS Starting Strong Survey.




+49 89 62306-276
Deutsches Jugendinstitut
Nockherstr. 2
81541 Munich

Additional Information

The OECD Starting Strong Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS Starting Strong Survey) is the first international survey of the ECEC workforce in nine different countries. Staff as well as centre leaders shared their insights on aspects such as professional development, pedagogical beliefs and practices or working conditions, thereby providing an opportunity to identify strengths and potential ways for improvement in ECEC settings across different countries.

The OECD conducted the study in cooperation with national partners in 2018. In Germany, a National Project Management Team of the International Centre Early Childhood Education and Care (ICEC) surveyed more than 3,000 staff and centre leaders who work either with children aged three and above or with children younger than three years.


After TALIS Starting Strong 2018, the TALIS Starting Strong Study will be carried out for the second time. Again, ECEC centres for children under 3 and ISCED level 02 are asked to participate. This means that trends and developments since 2018 will become visible. A total of 16 countries from five continents (including e.g. Norway, Chile, Japan and New Zealand) are taking part in the TALIS Starting Strong Study 2024, with seven countries also surveying ECEC centres for children under 3.

After the study questionnaires were tested for their relevance to practice and further developed in focus groups with centre leaders and pedagogical staff in spring 2022, the pilot study took place in spring 2023. For this purpose, around 100 ECEC centres across Germany were selected to take part. The aim of the pilot study was to test the internationally developed questionnaires and the implementation of the study on a smaller scale.

TALIS Starting Strong is designed as a representative survey of centre leaders and pedagogical staff. The staff is asked about a wide range of fundamental topics in ECEC, including:

• Working conditions and stresses

• Aspects of training and professional development

• Pedagogical practices and beliefs

• Diversity in ECEC

• Digitalization in ECEC

• Learning environments in ECEC

• Work organization and climate

• Pedagogical leadership

The TALIS Starting Strong study includes two surveys:

The ISCED level 02 survey

In the ISCED level 02 sub-study, pedagogical staff and leaders who work in ECEC with children aged three and older are surveyed. These countries are taking part in this survey:

• Belgium (Flanders)
• Chile
• Denmark
• Finland
• Ireland
• Israel
• Japan
• Colombia
• Morocco
• New Zealand
• Norway
• Sweden
• Spain
• Türkiye

The under 3 survey

In the under 3 sub-study, pedagogical staff and leaders who work in ECEC with children under the age of three are surveyed. The following countries are taking part in this survey:

• Belgium (Flanders)
• Ireland
• Israel
• Canada (New Brunswick & Quebec)
• New Zealand
• Norway

The international study is coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) together with the OECD Network on Early Childhood Education and Care.

The implementation takes place in cooperation with national partners in the participating countries, who take over the national project management (NPM). In Germany, the International Centre Early Childhood Education and Care (ICEC) at the German Youth Institute (Deutsches Jugendinstitut, DJI) was commissioned to carry out the study.

The survey in Germany is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and co-funded by The European Union (EU).

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) in Hamburg/Amsterdam, an international association for educational research, is responsible for the cross-border planning, coordination and quality assurance of the study as an international contractual partner. In Germany, IEA Hamburg also acts as a survey institute for the data collection.

TALIS Starting Strong is based on a so-called stratified, two-stage sampling design. For this purpose, a random sample is first drawn from all ECEC centres in Germany, making sure that facilities throughout Germany and all types of providers are covered. In a second step, in addition to the centre leader, eight pedagogical staff members are randomly selected in each of the selected centres. In a small centre with less than eight pedagogical staff members, everyone is asked to take part in the study. ECEC staff and centre leaders each receive different questionnaires, which largely contain the same thematic blocks, but are adapted to the specific characteristics of their job profile. Completing the questionnaire takes around 45 minutes and can be done either on paper or online. The data collected is anonymised from the start and is summarized in such a way that overall and average values can be formed. Individual people or centres can’t be identified.

ICEC Online Conference on June 24th, 2021
ECEC Centres as a Workplace in International Comparison: Result from the OECD TALIS Starting Strong Survey


Contact for general inquiries:


Daniel Turani – National Project Manager
Telefon: 089-62306-276

Samuel Bader – Research Associate
Telefon: 089-62306-381

Tijana Lujic - Research Associate
Telefon: +49 89 62306-264