Early childhood education in Vietnam: history and evaluation of its policies

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Boyd, W & Phuong, TD 2017, 'Early childhood education in Vietnam: history and evaluation of its policies', in H Li, E Park & JJ Chen (eds), Early childhood education policies in asia pacific: advances in theory and pratice, Springer, Singapore, pp. 263-283. ISBN: 9789811015267

Published version available from:



This chapter analyses Vietnam’s policies, laws and documentation on early childhood care and education (ECCE) through the 3A2S framework (Li et al, Int J Chin Educ 3(16):1–170, 2014) and concludes with an evaluation of the progress made in the provision of quality early childhood education throughout the twenty-first century. Early childhood care and education has a long history in Vietnam. As early as the 1900s, ECCE was provided to support women’s work, as Vietnam was an agrarian society. Following independence of France in 1954, Vietnam was involved in war and associated hardship until the 1970s so it was not until the 1980s that large-scale reforms in education became a significant focus of the government. Early childhood care and education was made an official department in 1991. Throughout the 1990s and into the twenty-first century, universal access to ECCE has been a priority with remarkable achievements gained. However, access to ECCE in mountainous areas, amongst ethnic minority groups and for many disadvantaged people, needs improvement. Vietnam has made significant progress in meeting accessibility, affordability, accountability, sustainability and social justice goals in ECCE, ongoing investment, both financial and in terms of human resources, is required to continue strengthening ECCE more uniformly across the country.