Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Investing in children

The 2013 Commission Recommendation on Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage stresses the importance of early intervention and an integrated preventative approach. It calls on EU countries to:

  • improve children’s access to adequate resources, including by supporting parents' access to the labour market and providing a combination of cash and in-kind benefits,
  • provide children with access to affordable quality services, including early childhood education and care and healthcare, and
  • support children’s right to participate in play, recreation, sport and cultural activities and promote children’s participation in decision-making that affects their lives.

In 2017, when presenting the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Commission and the experts of the European Social Policy Network prepared an evaluation of the implementation of the Recommendation on Investing in Children:

As a measure of facilitating the implementation of its recommendation, the Commission established the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC), which operated between 2013 and 2021. The main deliverables of EPIC are stored at this site.

The EPIC research notes present key messages from literature and research on various issues related to child and family policy across the European Union.

Researchers associated with EPIC have authored a number of policy briefs  on family and child well-being. The topics covered include the impact of the financial crisis on childcare, special educational needs, parental leave arrangements, and the quality and impact of early childhood education and care.

The EPIC policy memos provide brief overviews of key topics in child wellbeing and development for policymakers, researchers and stakeholders.

From 2018 to 2021, EPIC annual thematic reports outlining changes and developments in child and family policies in the EU Member States in the preceding year. The most recent of those describes the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EPIC’s repository of studies and reports features links to further resources and research relating to EU child and family policy.

EPIC developed a series of country profiles, which include an overview of the key structures, sources of information, and data indicators around child and family policy in each of the EU Member States.

The views expressed in EPIC deliverables do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Commission.

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