This paper presents a thematic analysis of documents produced during a recent ‘Regional Policy Forum on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)’, attended by over 200 participants including representatives from key international donor organisations and high-level officials from over 30 countries across the Asia Pacific region. The paper begins by providing a brief overview of international developments in ECCE over the past two decades, highlighting a growing argument that points to the need for a shift in policy and programming agendas away from target setting at international levels, towards the promotion and support of localised, contextually grounded approaches to supporting policies and programmes in ECCE. In an attempt to find ways of establishing empirical support for this argument, the paper explores the extent to which key messages delivered by international donor organisations and representatives at the Policy Forum can be seen to reflect the current activities and concerns of countries within the region (as expressed through individual country reports presented during the forum). Based on results of this analysis, the paper concludes with recommendations for balancing the ‘local’ and ‘international’ influence on policy making and agenda setting as countries in the Asia Pacific region move forward with provision of formalised ECCE post-2015.

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Emma C. Pearson
International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy
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