The recognition of the importance of early childhood education (ECE) has been growing continuously in recent years. Early childhood institutions are where professional pedagogy and child-rearing practices meet first in someones' life (Tobin et al., 2009), it has great significance in education. Acknowledgement of the existence of the needs of young children's education is evident, however, we have limited chances to compare different education systems outside of Europe and the United States. Realizing this situation, we came to the conclusion that it is highly necessary and required to publish such an analytical issue in the Hungarian Education Research Journal. Teacher's views and their narratives of childhood are relevant if we aim to understand the fundamental differences of ECE institutions in any region or country. In our present investigation we collected data from Hungary, Laos and Malaysia in order to acquire greater knowledge on the conceptions of early childhood in the three countries. We assumed however that the teachers' qualification and the early childcare system is diverse, yet we have found similarities among the teachers' perception.
Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is commonly understood in Malaysia as providing care and education for young children from the age of newborn until about six years old, before they enter formal elementary education. Various curriculum and teaching approaches were developed to enhance children's learning experiences based on their needs, age, and ability to support all three main developmental aspects: cognitive (language development and problem-solving skills), physical (development of gross and fine motor skills), and social-emotional (interaction with others). This paper will provide an overview of Malaysia's ECCE from its early implementation until today based on literature review of related research conducted in Malaysia. The definition of ECCE in Malaysia, its history and development, ECCE providers and type of institutions, current ECCE curriculum, and ECCE related acts in Malaysia are presented. In addition, the challenges faced, its consequences, and future course of ECCE in Malaysia are also discussed. It is envisaged that this article would be a platform for the relevant stakeholders worldwide to gain an insight on the Malaysian ECCE, serve as a benchmark and act as a reference for their respective ECCE settings.