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young child in classroom

The extent and variety of childcare provision varies greatly across the EU Member States in regard to quality and facilities. The following studies examine the current situation, trends and future directions of childcare in Europe.

How childcare, parental leave and flexible working arrangements interact in Europe (DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, European Platform for Investing in Children, 2014)pdf(2 MB)

This brief examines how paid work and the care of children are reconciled by families in European Union Member States. It analyses how childcare, parental leave and working time instruments are combined and used in a complementary way. It finds that most parents combine various reconciliation instruments, and that particular childcare arrangements are related to parents’ preferences and norms, a child’s age, and labour market opportunities for parents.

The views expressed in these briefs do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Commission.

Support for Children with Special Educational Needs (DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, European Alliance for Families, 2012)pdf(687 kB)

This policy brief provides an overview of existing evidence on effective diagnosis and early intervention for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in Europe. It also details progress towards inclusive education, and efforts to support parents of children with SEN and the wider family unit.

The views expressed in these briefs do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Commission.

Competence requirements in early childhood education and care (European Commission, 2011)pdf Choose translations of the previous link 

This report explores conceptualisations of ‘competence’ and professionalism in early childhood practice and identified systemic conditions for developing, supporting and maintaining competence in all layers of the early childhood system. The study was commissioned by the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture and project jointly conducted by the University of East London and the University of Ghent.

“Child well-being and quality of childcare”, synthesis report (European Alliance for Families best practice workshop, 2011)pdf(833 kB)

This reportpdf(833 kB) is a summary of presentations and discussions that took place on 30 June 2011 during the best practice workshop on child well-being and the quality of childcare. The event, organised within the framework of the European Alliance for Families, looked at the definition and assessment of childcare quality and presented Dutch, Danish, French and Slovakian experiences in the field.

The views expressed in these briefs do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Commission.

The provision of childcare services - A comparative review of 30 European countries (European Commission, 2009)

The study provides an analysis of the quantitative and qualitative provision of childcare services for 27 EU Member States and three European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It discusses the extent to which the demand for childcare is covered, the importance attached to childcare services within the national context, and the policies developed at the national level to improve the provision of childcare facilities.

Care Provision within Families and its Socio-Economic Impact on Care Providers (European Commission, 2009)pdf

This study, sponsored by the European Commission, investigates the socio-economic impact of family care-giving. It was written by a team of researchers from the University of York (England) and Expertise Centre on Long-Term Care "Vilans" (the Netherlands). The full reportpdf and a policy briefingpdf can be downloaded from this site. For more information about provision of care in Europe please visit the Eurocarers website.

Barcelona objectives for childcare provisionpdf(2 MB)

The Barcelona objective are targets set for formal child provision across the EU by 2010 at the 2002 European Council conclusionspdf. The 2013 reportpdf(2 MB) from the European Commission provides the latest information on rates for children attending formal child care in  27 EU Member States.

Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) publication - Child care and protection research collection

IRISS, in partnership with WithScotland (formally MARS and SCCPN), has compiled a series of recordings of academics speaking about their projects, major findings, and the implications for policy and practice. The recordings cover a variety of topics, including the experience of parental alcohol problems, young people’s views on violence against women, the rights of children of prisoners in Scotland, and children and young people’s mental health indicators. The series is designed to improve access to and awareness of research findings and debate.