Early childhood education and care (ECEC) – the phase before primary education – is increasingly acknowledged as providing the foundations for lifelong learning and development. This second edition of Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe charts the progress made in the key quality areas identified in the Council Recommendation on High Quality ECEC Systems.
The Commission´s Intention
- Facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices among Member States in the context of the Strategic Framework of cooperation in education and training and successor schemes, as well as in the Social Protection Committee.
- Support the cooperation of Member States, based on their demand, by organising peer learning and peer counselling.
- Support the cooperation with the OECD Network on Early Childhood Education and Care in order to facilitate dissemination of results and avoid duplications.
- Support the development of high-quality inclusive early childhood education and care services by making Union funding available, particularly in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme and, where appropriate, the European Structural and Investment Funds, including Interreg, without any prejudice to negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
- Propose an updated European benchmark or target on early childhood education and care aiming at the provision of services, in line with revised ET2020 benchmark and Barcelona targets, following consultation with Member States. This proposal for a benchmark together with other proposed European education and training benchmarks should be discussed and decided by the Council in the context of setting up the new strategic framework in education and training after 2020.
What is the report about
Report to the Council on follow up of the Recommendation in line with reporting modalities of the existing frameworks and tools.
The report provides indicators on the key quality areas of governance, access, staff, educational guidelines as well as evaluation and monitoring. Cross-cutting these key areas, it presents a child-centred approach, with special attention being paid to the inter-relatedness of policies in different areas. The importance of inclusiveness in education is also stressed as high quality ECEC is considered to be one of the best ways to increase equity and equality in society.
Part one provides policymakers, researchers and parents with comparative information on the current ECEC policies across Europe. Part two gives an overview of the key features of national ECEC systems accompanied by a diagram of their structure.
Scope of the report
The scope of the report is wide, covering centre-based and regulated home-based provision in both the public and private sectors in the 38 European countries (43 education systems) participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme. It includes the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.