Eurochild's policy position on Early Childhood Education and Care
In this policy position, Eurochild outlines its own views related to early childhood policies in general and early education and care services in particular. Our messages can be summarised as follows:
- It is important to underpin early childhood policies with a recognition of children as rights-holders, as required by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- We believe policies to develop early childhood education and care (ECEC) services should be set within a broader policy framework linking labour market policies, family-related leave, family support policies and formal education systems.
- We support the view that universal access to high quality ECEC services is more beneficial than interventions specifically targeted at vulnerable groups. Nonetheless it is important to ensure services reach out to more vulnerable groups in order to promote diversity, reduce social inequalities and to prevent the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
- We believe it would be useful to develop and adopt common quality criteria for early years' services thereby encouraging data collection, comparative analysis and benchmarking across EU member states.
- We strongly welcome the emphasis on professionalization of staff working in ECEC services.