Eurochild's response to the European Care Strategy
Adopted on 7 September 2022, the European Care Strategy introduces a breakthrough policy that has the ambition to address the needs of children and their families as well all generations needing care.
Eurochild welcomes the European Care Strategy and the proposal for Council Recommendation on the revision of ‘the Barcelona targets’ on early childhood education and care, with an aspiration to improve the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC). Investing early in nurturing care for all children is essential for their healthy development and the wellbeing and prosperity of communities and society.
The European Care Strategy is not a standalone or isolated policy; its deliverables are in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights and its Action Plan. It also complements the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the Council Recommendation on European Child Guarantee.
To make sure this policy will have an impact on children’s lives, linking to EU funding, we call on Member States:
- to adopt the Council Recommendation on the revision of the Barcelona targets on early childhood education and care and Council Recommendation on access to affordable high-quality long-term care;
- to make explicit commitments to end institutionalisation of children and accelerate the transition to family- and community-based care for children;
- to release the Child Guarantee National Action Plans as soon as possible, as agreed on by all Member States in June 2021. These should be based on an integrated approach and include the measures and targets on early childhood education and care as well as other vulnerable groups of children;
- to meaningfully engage national stakeholders such as Civil Society Organisations, children, their parents and professionals in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes of both adopted Council Recommendations.