As announced at the launch event, the event series will take place in spring and autumn 2021 and will address topics, such as enhancing the inclusivity and professionalisation of the sector.
- 3 March 2021 | A focus on inclusion and staff professionalisation
- 27 April 2021 | Available, accessible and affordable for all
- 20 May 2021 | How to recruit and train qualified staff?
- 10 June 2021 | Working with families and for the whole community
- 13 September 2021 | Reinforcing the continuous professional development (CPD) of ECEC staff
- 5 October 2021 | Early childhood education and care in Europe: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
- 15 October 2021 | Early childhood education and care in Europe: Welcoming children with disabilities or with migrant backgrounds
How to watch the events
Recordings will be published after each event. Stay tuned!
What has been achieved so far?
In 2020, the goal of 95% participation in ECEC among children from the age of 4 within the European Union (EU) was almost achieved, with 94.8% participation.
As an important determinant of later basic skills acquisition, this accomplishment demonstrates strong progress towards realising the Commission’s vision for the European Education Area.
On 3 March 2021, Commissioner Gabriel also presented the following deliverables contributing to the European Education Area initiative:
- a toolkit for inclusive early childhood education and care
- a report detailing measures to improve the recruitment, training and motivation of education and care professionals
The Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030) adopted in February 2021 sets a new target of 96% for the participation of children between three years old and the starting age for compulsory primary education in ECEC for Member States.
The European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) enshrined the importance of ECEC in its principle 11: ‘Children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality’.
On 4 March 2021, the European Commission presented the EPSR Action Plan, which reaffirmed that Europe must strive to increase the provision of formal ECEC. This commitment includes the participation of children below the age of 3 in ECEC, with the revision of the Barcelona targets.
The EU Quality Framework for ECEC annexed to the 2019 Council Recommendation for High-Quality ECEC Systems details the five pillars of high-quality ECEC systems: access, staff, curriculum, monitoring and evaluation, governance and funding.
On 24 March 2021, the European Commission proposed a Council Recommendation establishing the European Child Guarantee to ensure that children at risk of poverty and social exclusion have effective access to key services such as healthcare and education.
The proposal outlines that EU Member States should guarantee free and effective access to ECEC to children in need.
Header image: © iStock/nd3000, 2020.