Early childhood education in the EU


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Today is World Children's Day and to mark the occasion this news item looks at early childhood education in the European Union (EU).

In 2017, 95.4% of children aged between 4 years old and the starting age of compulsory primary education were enrolled in early childhood education in the EU. This figure has been rising over the last decade and in 2017 it was 4.7 percentage points higher than in 2007.

2016 marked the year in which the target of 95% participation in early childhood education and care, set in the Education and Training 2020 framework for the EU as a whole, was reached.

An analysis by EU Member State for 2017 reveals that at the lower end of the range this ratio was 78.2 % in Slovakia and between 80.0 % and 85.0 % in Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria.

A total of 15 EU Member States reported that they had already achieved the 95 % benchmark in 2017: Italy, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Malta, Luxembourg, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and Ireland (the last three each reporting ratios of 100 %).


Infographic: Children in formal early childhood education, 2017

The source dataset is accessible here.

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