Processes of change in early childhood policy and legislation in Israel

Yaara Shilo, Iris BenDavid-Hadar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Israel's early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy for ages 0-3 has evolved significantly, with the Ministry of Education now overseeing it. However, the policy still emphasizes settings over comprehensive child development, excluding centers with fewer than seven children, and many still need to be registered. This study examines Israel's ECEC policy evolution from 1948 to 2021, involving critical influencers like women's organizations, practitioners, academics, activists, and politicians. Recent reforms prioritize children's developmental needs over merely supporting working mothers. The challenge lies in integrating a private, unregistered 0-2 care sector with a centralized public 3-5 care system, leading to a unique organizational structure. It reflects a persisting practice divide, but municipalities increasingly recognize the importance of early childhood education and care. These trends align with global patterns in ECEC for ages 0-3, positioning Israel's experiences within an international context.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
StateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Early childhood services
  • Israel
  • early childhood policy
  • education and care
  • process tracing


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