Early childhood education and care (ECEC) – the phase before primary education – is increasingly acknowledged as providing the foundations for lifelong learning and development. This second edition of ‘Key data on early childhood education and care in Europe’ charts the progress made in the key quality areas identified in the Council Recommendation on High Quality ECEC Systems. It provides policymakers, researchers and parents with ready access to international comparative data and a wealth of country examples relating to the ECEC policies currently in place in Europe. The first part of the report provides indicators on the key quality areas of access, staff, educational guidelines as well as evaluation and monitoring. Cross-cutting these key areas, the report offers a child-centred approach with special attention being paid to the inter-relatedness of policies in different areas. The importance of inclusiveness in education is also stressed as high quality ECEC is considered one of the best ways to increase equity and equality in society. The second part of the report gives the national picture with information sheets highlighting the key features of each ECEC system, including a diagram of its structure. The report’s scope is very wide, covering centre-based and regulated home-based provision in both the public and private sectors in the 38 European countries (43 education systems) participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme. It includes the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.