Early Childhood Development - Eurochild’s achievements in 2022
Eurochild advocates for a fair start in life for every child in Europe and co-leads the First Years, First Priority campaign, with ISSA, the International Step by Step Association. The campaign focuses on children facing particular disadvantages, such as children living in extreme poverty, Roma and Traveller children, children in (or at risk of entering) alternative care, migrant and refugee children (including those who are undocumented) and children with disabilities.
In June 2022, Eurochild participated in Early Childhood Ireland's event ECEC Exchange with a video-message explaining the work that is needed to break the cycle of disadvantage for children and families in vulnerable situations. Eurochild asks for more political attention and public spending on early childhood development, to fight poverty and social exclusion, and ensure that all young children aged 0 to 6 have equal opportunities for safe, healthy, and optimal development.
We have raised awareness and increased the visibility of the campaign and of the importance of investing in early childhood among EU policy-makers, by engaging senior European Commission officials and MEPs in our public events, participating in civil society events with policy-makers, engaging in EU-level policy discussions and providing input to Commission consultations on key EU policy initiatives that are relevant for the campaign.
- At EU level, we have provided input to several policy initiatives, such as the European Child Guarantee, the revision of the Barcelona targets on Early Childhood Education and Care, the European Care Strategy, and the Commission’s proposal for adequate minimum income schemes in the EU.
- On 29 November 2022 we held our first-ever in-person event in the European Parliament, Putting early childhood at the heart of the European Child Guarantee hosted by MEP Dragos Pîslaru. We were joined by Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission and we presented three thematic papers:
- Putting early childhood at the heart of the European Child Guarantee
- Prioritising the professional development of early childhood education and care staff,
- Ensure universal access to maternal healthcare in the European Union.
- We widely disseminated nine country profiles featuring recommendations and data collected by national campaign coordinators in Bulgaria, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, and Spain. Each profile provides a snapshot of the current state of Early Childhood Development within the country and includes sections on six key areas – child poverty, maternal and child health and nutrition, child’s safety and security, early learning including early childhood education and care, parenting and family support, and cross-sectoral coordination.
- In 2022 we were also very pleased to welcome Open Society Foundation Slovakia as a new member of the campaign.
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