New report – More work needed to ensure that all children in Europe have access to #QualityEarlyEducation and care

| July 8, 2019

The European Commission’s Eurydice network has published its latest report on Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe. The report concludes that many European countries are not offering universal access to high quality early childhood education and care.

Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (pictured) said: “We clearly need to do more to make sure that every child in the EU has access to quality early childhood education and care. This is vital to give everyone the best start in life and to build fair, cohesive and resilient societies. This report shows what countries are doing to ensure access and quality and allows us to concentrate our efforts on specific areas of improvement. Some countries are doing well, while others lag behind. As we continue to build a true European Education Area, this report is a good basis for further work to guarantee universal access across the EU.” Six quality dimensions are analysed in the report: governance, access, the workforce, educational guidelines, as well as monitoring and the evaluation of early childhood education and care systems.

These aspects are also the focus of the recently adopted Council Recommendation on High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems. This Recommendation, which is one of the building blocks of the European Education Area the Commission intends to build with member states by 2025, is designed to help develop a common understanding of what constitutes good quality service provision and to support member states in improving access to and quality of their systems. As the report published today shows, many European countries cannot yet provide education and care of good quality at all ages of early childhood, often maintaining a division between child care and pre-primary education.

The report is available online.

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