The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) presents a round-up of the latest developments in child and family policy in EU member states over the past month.
Every month, a news item will be published, collating information about new policies and initiatives in member states. It will include information about a wide spectrum of developments, including legislative changes, new programmes and new evaluation tools.
Project to support the deinstitutionalization of children and young people
The Bulgarian government has launched a project to support the movement of children from institutions to community-based care. Almost three million Leva (approx. EUR 1.5m) have been committed to build new social infrastructure and provide new services over the next two years.
National campaign “Every Child Needs a Family”
In cooperation with UNICEF, the Croatian government has launched a national campaign with the aim of increasing the number of foster families. The "Every child needs a family" campaign places special emphasis on the needs of young children.
Launch of “1,000-day programme – a better start to life”
The Danish government has pledged DKK one billion (approx. EUR 134m) to a programme aimed at supporting the first 1,000 days of the lives of children from vulnerable families. Funds will ensure the recruitment of better-skilled educators and carers who work with children of two years of age or below.
A report on supporting children with disabilities and their families
The Children’s Council has published a report on supporting children with disabilities from birth until age six. Recommendations include early socialisation with better offers of early childcare, financial support to families and a “right to request” a flexible work schedule for employees who have children with disabilities.
Day-care centre of the year award
The Ludwig-Uhland-Straße family centre in Maintal was named best day-care centre of the year 2018 in Germany. The centre was praised for the team’s participatory learning processes and psychological support provided to refugee children.
Improvements to the free pre-school scheme
The Irish government has announced additional funding to the free pre-school scheme from September onwards. The programme, which offers 15 hours per week of free pre-school to children throughout the school year, will benefit from a 7% increase in payment to childcare providers and an eligibility extension.
New carer support centres opening across the country
The Latvian Ministry of Welfare issued certificates to extra-familial care centres providing assistance, training and psychological support to foster families, host families and adoptive parents. The Latvian SOS Children's Village Association will run three centres in Valmiera, Bauska and Riga, and the Social Services Agency will run two more in Liepaja and Riga.
‘Good Start’ programme implemented
The Polish Prime Minister has signed a bill granting €80 per school child to cover education-related expenses, such as books or stationery. The payment is independent of a family’s income and is available to children up until the age of 18-20, and an additional four years for children with disabilities.
Help Autism association granted public utility status
The association Help Autism received public utility status following a decision of the Romanian government on August 23. Established in 2010, the association defends and promotes the rights and interests of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and their families.
New support strategy for parents
The Swedish government has invested SEK 45 million (approx. EUR 4.3m) in a new national strategy to strengthen parenting support. The strategy includes maternity and child health care support groups, a parenting support programme and an information-sharing online platform.
New response unit to tackle exploitation of vulnerable children
The British government has announced the creation of a new national response unit to help local authorities support vulnerable children at risk of exploitation by criminal gangs.
This news item was developed for the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC).