European Commission recommends investment in early childhood education and care in 2023

In November 2022, the European Semester Autumn Package was launched, comprising policies and guidelines for 2023. Within the Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, the report referred to the importance of education, including early childhood education and care (ECEC), and its power to benefit the lives of children and to facilitate women’s participation in the labour force. However, teacher shortages at all educational levels, including in ECEC may threaten these efforts. Member States must invest in increasing the attractiveness of the teaching profession, and in making ECEC services accessible, high-quality, and affordable

Additionally, the report included Social Scoreboard indicators showing how countries perform with regards to the participation of children in formal childcare and the level of participation of children at risk of poverty. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, improving equity in education, including in early childhood is essential. The report provides examples of measures taken by Member States to develop their education and ECEC systems supported by the Recovery and Resilience Fund and in the context of the European Child Guarantee.