The International Early Learning Study (IELS) is an international play-based assessment of five-year-olds' knowledge and skills in four key areas: emerging numeracy, emerging literacy, self-regulation, and social emotional skills. IELS aims to provide U.S. educators, policy makers, and parents the opportunity to better understand the skills and competencies of American children at the beginning of primary school and how they compare to the skill profiles of 5-year-olds in other countries. This innovative new study fills important gaps in the international comparisons of education systems and helps countries to better understand how their early education and care systems prepare children for primary school.
IELS is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries, and is conducted in the United States by NCES. The U.S. and several other countries participated in a Field Test for IELS in the fall of 2017 and are conducting the IELS Main Study in the fall of 2018.