European Week of Regions and Cities
8-11 October 2018 Brussels

Affordable and high quality childcare in the EU: adapting to local needs

October 9, 2018 from 09:30 to 11:00

The importance of early childhood education and care for children (ECEC) from zero to mandatory school age, highlighted in the Barcelona Objectives in 2002 / Education Target of 2009, remains crucial to increase female labour market participation, to allow for better work-life balance of working parents, to ensure a stronger start in life for all children through high quality ECEC, as well as to tackle hurdles for children from disadvantaged backgrounds from an early age onwards. It is a crucial element in the European Pillar of Social Rights and monitored in the European semester. European co-funding is available for projects investing in and promoting high quality and affordable childcare. Considerable progress towards the Barcelona and Education Targets has been reached. This calls for a reflection on the next steps including the possible revision of the targets. However, there are still important differences across countries and regions, with some of them lagging behind considerably. The reasons for which certain Member States have not reached the targets vary considerably from country to country. In particular, the achievement of the targets can be regionally dispersed and linked to differences between rural and urban areas. These regional differences highlight the importance of addressing local needs, both in terms of quantity and quality of childcare services adapted to these needs. The problems are indeed specific to each region or area, and call for local solutions. For instance, certain rural areas in Europe are confronted with important distances of child care facilities. Furthermore, certain urban areas have problems in adapting childcare to the needs of specific groups in societies. The workshop is divided into two blocks. A first block with deal with the presentation on the Commission actions with regard to childcare, which will be followed by a discussion on the possible next steps including a possible revision of the targets. The second block will deal with the question on how to cater for different issues and needs adapted to local needs, via good practices to invest in childcare in rural and urban areas and innovative approaches to address specific local needs. The aim of the workshop is to discuss further actions to take to strengthening of childcare in regions and countries and to exchange on means/approaches at local level.

Greet Vermeylen
Katalin Brenner, Raquel Cortes-Herrera, Emilio Di Meglio, Bianca Faragau, Geraldine Libreau, Paola Panzeri, Janneke Plantenga, Sarah Schinazi, ROSETTA GAGLIARDO
Education, culture and youth
European Commission - DG JUST
english (en), fran├žais (fr)
Building SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre, Room The Arc

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