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Tackling Inequalities in Early Years: Ensuring Harmonised Early Childhood Education and Care Systems

Education and Culture
Date: Tuesday, 15 January 2019 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

The first years in human life are crucial for the development of essential competences, skills and learning dispositions that influence future education and employment prospects. According to the OECD Family Database, the participation rate for 0-to-2-years-olds in formal childcare and pre-school services is generally increasing across the EU, being on average of 30% rate. However, this number varies largely from one member states to another, as it grows up to more than 60% in Denmark and decrease to 5% in Czech Republic (OECD Family Database, 2016). Moreover, the GDP public spending on early childhood education and care is also differs greatly form one side of the EU to the other, as 1.3% GDP is spent on that matter in Denmark, in comparison to 0.4%GDP in Czech Republic (OECD Family Database, 2017).

In order to help member states achieving the 2002 Barcelona Summit objective to provide childcare services to at least 33% of children under three years old, in 2018 the European Commission adopted several proposals, including the Commission’s proposals for a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning’ (COM(2018)24) and for  a ‘Council Recommendation on High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems’ (COM(2018)271). Through these proposals, the EU aims to support its member states in their efforts to improve access to and quality of their early childhood education and care systems. Moreover, these proposals aim at developing a common EU-wide understanding of what constitutes good quality service provision by facilitating the exchange of experience and good practice.

Ensuring an equitable access to high quality early childhood education and care is crucial for reducing the risk of inequities in opportunities of education, early school leaving and the lost of talent in society. These policies can make a strong contribution to the success of the Europe 2020 strategy, and in particular for achieving two of the EU headline targets: reducing early school leaving to below 10 % and lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion. Moreover, easy access to childcare services may improve the reconciliation of work and family life and thus foster female labour market participation and gender equality.

This international symposium offers a timely and invaluable opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to engage with EU new proposals on early childhood education and care. It will also set priorities for future policy recommendations and priorities, as well as offer delegates a platform to share idea and best practice from across Europe.

Delegates will:

  • Gain insight into the EU’s proposals in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Examine the progress made on the implementation of the 2002 Barcelona’s objectives
  • Consider ways to increase the access to and quality of early childcare services
  • Explore the available funding schemes and discuss ways to reduce education and health inequalities, addressing public spending across member states
  • Understand how to engage effectively with parents and carers to identify and support children at an early stage
  • Develop strategies to deliver consistent care and education for early children in the Education and Training 2020 framework
  • Review national successful early childhood education and care systems and share good practice

Register here#EUevents


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All Dates

  • Tuesday, 15 January 2019 10:00 - 16:30

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