State of the Social Service Workforce 2018: Trends and Recommendations for Strengthening the Workforce


This 4th annual report includes a multi-country, four region review of the state of the social service workforce. Through Alliance-led mappings and assessments in three regions in collaboration with UNICEF, and information from mappings and assessments in a fourth region, this report consolidates trends and data and makes recommendations for better planning, development and support to this frontline workforce. The report also makes connections to the Alliance's Call to Action for Strengthening the Social Service Workforce to Better Protect Children and Achieve the SDGs. The data and findings are intended to build the evidence base in support of advocacy efforts to gain government and stakeholder commitments for strengthening the social service workforce.


Alex Collins


Global Social Service Workforce Alliance

Year of Publication:


A Comparative Study of Pre-service Education for Preschool Teachers in China and the United States


A Comparative Study of Pre-service Education for Preschool Teachers in China and the United States provides a comparative analysis of the pre-service education system for preschool educators in China and the United States. Based on collected data and materials (literature, policy documents, and statistical data).

Comparisons are made between two areas of pre-service training:

  1. the formal system;
  2. the informal system.

In the formal system, most of the Chinese preschool teachers are trained in secondary school, though the system is shifting toward a higher reliance on associate degree programs. On the other hand, the majority of preschool teachers in the United States receive pre-service education in bachelor’s degree and associate degree programs. The study examines how the United States has relied more on the formal system to train and prepare preschool teachers, while China has focused on informal pre-service training for candidates without an early childhood background.

This study concludes with a discussion of trends for possible reforms in the two countries; it also includes lessons for elevating preschool teacher preparation.

Resource web file:

Early Childhood Care and Education in five Asian countries


Early Childhood Care and Education in Five Asian Countries seeks to consolidate early childhood developments in Asia as a basis for The Head Foundations further research and advocacy in this area.

A general overview of the ECCE landscape in the Asia-Pacific region is introduced by this resource. Country profiles are included as a way to share data on individual countries. These country profiles are presented through five aspects:

  1. Programme structure,
  2. Teacher qualification
  3. Demographics
  4. Funding and governance structure,
  5. Public-private share

These profiles also provide a look at current concerns and recent developments in the countries. Common threads between these profiles are also addressed.

Resource web file:

What Knowledge and Skills Do Chinese Kindergarten Teachers Need in a Time of Reform: Director’s Perspectives


This paper reports on a research program that investigates policy and practice relating to the building of a Chinese early childhood workforce in a context of changed government policy, improved standards regarding teacher qualifications and curriculum content, and changing parental expectations. The evolving context reflects the fact that recent economic development in China has witnessed enhanced need for a workforce that is suitable for jobs that require advanced skills and a high capacity to learn. This identified need has brought a renewed interest in early childhood education. Subsequently, policy makers have raised questions regarding what early childhood teachers should know and the skills they need to acquire to be competent practitioners.

The research findings draw on interviews conducted with 24 kindergarten directors from provinces across China. The interview explored opinions about skills and attributes teachers require, level and form of knowledge they need, and how teachers’ capacities might be enhanced.