On 14 June 2021 EU Member States adopted the European Child Guarantee, aimed at ensuring a set of essential services for children in need and combating child poverty. This is a landmark initiative. The Child Guarantee aims to guarantee that all children have access to high quality early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities, at least one healthy meal each school day and healthcare, as well as healthy nutrition and adequate housing. It also calls on EU governments to increase investment in education, health and social protection systems and ensure support for families and households.
It will be up to Member States to implement the Guarantee at national level, with support from EU funding. By March 2022 they have to submit National Child Guarantee Action Plans to cover the period until 2030, with clear objectives and timelines. It will be particularly important to ensure that children, families and civil society organisations can participate in the development of such plans.
The First Years First Priority campaign welcomes this historic initiative. You can read our statement here.
We will work with national and international partners to ensure the Child Guarantee translates into increased investment in early childhood development and specific measures to tackle poverty in children’s early years.
For more information and background on the Child Guarantee, you can watch this high-level event organised by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Office in collaboration with the Portuguese Presidency of the EU.