Eurochild joins European Commission’s working group on early childhood

Eurochild has been accepted to become a member of the European Commission Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) Working Group on Early Childhood Education and Care (under the leadership of DG EAC).

This is a great opportunity to contribute to supporting the implementation of the European policy agenda in the field of ECEC, bring national experiences from our membership, exchange expertise and push for a holistic and child rights-based approach to ECEC.

This Working Group gathers representatives from all EU Member States that are involved in policy development in the area of ECEC in their countries, can share policy experiences and are in the position to also disseminate and use the results of the Working Group effectively in their respective Member States. Eurochild is one of the stakeholders, together with ISSA, Alliance for Childhood, EASPD, Eurocities, EPSU, EFEE and ETUCE. Eurofound, OECD and Eurydice are also members of the Working Group. The Working Group will focus primarily on (1) social inclusion and (2) professionalisation of staff as a key element of creating an attractive, sustainable and highly competent profession.

Since 2008, Eurochild has set ECEC as a thematic priority, exploring how it can contribute to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty and social exclusion. Eurochild Thematic Working Group on Early Years Education and Care has enabled members to participate in several events and engage in advocacy activities focusing on improving the access and quality of services for young children. Through this thematic group, we have been supporting DG EAC’s work on the development of the European Quality Framework in 2014 and the proposal for a Council Recommendation on Quality in ECEC from May 2018. We influenced, principally through our member organisation in Bulgaria the ‘National Network for Children’, the adoption of Council Conclusions of June 2018 onIntegrated early childhood development policies as a tool for reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion, under the Bulgarian presidency.

Eurochild is stepping up work in early childhood development (ECD) and - in partnership with the European Public Health Alliance, the International Step by Step Association, the Roma Education Fund and the Open Society Foundation ECD Program - we are currently working on a policy briefing to be launched in May next year, which will include case studies of good practices in ECD and policy recommendations.

Europe can do more to prioritise investment in early years and contribute to a wider range of better societal and economic outcomes, catalyse exchange of knowledge and experience across EU member states and strengthen the evidence-based practices.

For more information please get in touch with Agata D’Addato.