Portugal has made little progress over the past years in delivering early childhood development (ECD) policies and supporting families with young children. Specifically, there is no national law or act guaranteeing access to basic ECD services in Education, Health, Nutrition, and/or Social and Child Protection for all children under six years of age. There is a lack of sufficient data regarding young children across ECD policy areas, and it has become evident that the investment in ECD is not holistic.
There are some developments regarding the early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy area. These include the intention to bring forward the legal entitlement to an ECEC place from the age of three (it is currently four) and, since September 2020, depending on household income, families have free of charge access to publicly subsidised crèches for children under three years of age.
The information provided in this Country Profile reflects the situation at the end of May 2021. Country profiles look at key indicators across all the countries involved in the campaign and identify gaps in national data and evidence on early childhood.