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Access to early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) is important for promoting equal opportunities of children as well as for facilitating work-family balance of parents and especially labour market participation of mothers of small children.
The global financial crisis triggered a deep recession in 2008 and 2009, the deepest since the Great Recession of the early 1930s. In 2009, the EU's GDP dropped by 4.4%, and in 2014 it barely exceeded the level of 2008.
The economic crisis has put income inequality high on the political agenda. Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the 21st century" made the topic also a subject of coffee breaks, while Wilkinson and Pickett's "The Spirit Level" illustrated how inequality is associated with various social ills in our societies.