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 in October 2018.
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Belgium: Walloon government announces changes to childhood education fees from 2019
The government of the Walloon community of Belgium has announced a decision to prohibit school fees that are not defined and authorised in the covering legislation. The objective is to limit ‘additional costs’ for parents. Additional funds will be allocated to nursery schools to compensate for the fees that will not be covered by parents anymore.
Denmark: Launch of an online day-care portal
The Ministry of Education’s website now hosts an online day-care portal. On this platform, Danish parents can have information on individual municipal day-care centres, under the form of ‘pedagogical profiles’ for the school. Pedagogical profiles include information about staffing, languages, school meal arrangements, and opening hours. The Portal covers approximately two thirds of the country’s centres so far.
Estonia: New employers awarded ‘family-friendly’ status
On October 17, the Ministry of Social Affairs awarded a ‘family-friendly workplace’ badge to 13 Estonian employers. They were selected following a sustained consultation and evaluation process. The certification scheme was launched in 2016 with the support of the European Social Fund, and involves gold, silver and bronze levels for employers undergoing the family-friendly training programme. So far, 75 employers have received a badge.
Greece: Parliament’s TV channel launches educational weekly programme
Following an agreement signed last year, the body for Educational Radio and Television will run a weekly programme on the Greek Parliament’s TV channel. With the aims of attracting young audiences to the political channel and of improving media literacy, among others, the programme will feature students’ work from school competitions organised over the year. The competitions will cover diverse topics, from school bullying to smoking.
Lithuania: Funds allocated to housing programme for young families
In its draft budget for 2019, the Lithuanian government has committed 10 million EUR to the national housing programme for young families. The programme is due to run until 2021 and offers state subsidies for parents younger than 35 who wish to buy property. The budget has yet to be approved by the Seimas, the Lithuanian parliament, and would be an increase from the 4 million EUR allocated to the programme in 2018.
Poland: “A meal at school and at home” programme launched by the government
The Polish government officially adopted a programme called “A meal at school and at home” to run from 2019 to 2023 in all Polish provinces. 2.75 billion PLN (approx. 637 million EUR) has been allocated from the state budget to finance support for municipalities to provide the elderly, people with disabilities, people with low incomes as well as children from disadvantaged backgrounds with hot meals, with a particular focus on school meals.
Slovenia: Ministry for Social Affairs pledges support to the Barnahus/Children’s House project
A joint project between the European Commission and the Council of Europe aims to set up a children’s house in Slovenia based on the Barnahus model, a child-friendly response for victims of child sexual abuse and other forms of child abuse. The project’s implementation is led by the Ministry of Justice, with the cooperation of other stakeholders, including the Ministry for Social Affairs.
Spain: Government pledges support to unaccompanied minors
The government has allocated 40 million EUR to the Autonomous Communities of Ceuta and Melilla in light of increase in the numbers of unaccompanied foreign minors who arrived in the communities in 2018. The funds are intended to cover the care and reception of the children.
United Kingdom: New scheme launched to support young people leaving care
The UK government has launched a new scheme, the Care Leaver Covenant, to raise the career aspirations of young people leaving care. Businesses, charities and government’s departments have committed to provide work opportunities through the scheme, as well as training workshop and life-skills coaching. The scheme also includes support from universities to access higher education.
European Union: Girls invited to the European Parliament for the International Day of the Girl Child
On the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, the Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL) launched the #Girl2Leader campaign to raise awareness on the role of women in decision-making and to encourage girls’ interest and participation in politics. Among other events taking place across the world, 12 MEPs co-hosted an event for teenage girls at the European Parliament.
This news item was developed for the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC).