At the conclusion of its thematic review into Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policy and provision in 2006, the OECD called on researchers to use its findings as a springboard for research. In particular, it called for ‘further cross-national work, focusing on … critical issues and challenges’ including: the rationale for different ways of organizing ECEC policy and provision; the balance of investment between parental leave and services for infants and toddlers; responses to the shortages of skilled and qualified staff; how best to promote parent engagement in ECEC; and how policy can help parents to balance paid work and family life. In response to this call, an international network of scholars and non-government organisations has been established. The aim of the network is to encourage policy-relevant research across and between Australia, the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Sweden. This reports contains (i) A review of recent academic and policy-relevant literature addressing debates of particular relevance to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (ii) A series of ‘Policy Audits’ setting out key demographic data and describing the major policies relating to early childhood education and care in the five countries under consideration.