Response to the Council Recommendation on Early Childhood Education and Care Barcelona Targets for 2030

We welcome the Council Recommendation’s emphasis on the need for ECEC services that are of high quality, provided in a safe, nurturing and caring environment, based on the existing Recommendation on High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems.

In line with our previous recommendations we urge Member States to:

  • Implement ambitious national plans to increase participation in quality ECEC services for all
    children – especially children under three – with specific targets for ensuring the participation of
    children facing poverty, exclusion and disadvantage.
  • Increase public investment in quality ECEC that is available and accessible for all children, and
    especially children under three.
  • Develop national strategies to ensure quality ECEC services and to increase the professionalisation
    of ECEC staff through a minimum standard of qualification, continuous professional development
    and improved working conditions.
  • Expand the scope of national collection of disaggregated data on access to quality ECEC for
    children, especially for children under three and who experience poverty, social exclusion,
    marginalisation/segregation and multiple disadvantage. This requires disaggregated data on the
    degree of access to, and benefits of, ECEC for the most vulnerable groups, in particular children
    living in extreme poverty, children with disabilities, refugee and (undocumented) migrant children
    and children from ethnic minorities (especially Roma children as the largest ethnic minority
    subject to exclusion). It should include disaggregated data on children aged 0-3 and 3-6 and also
    on rural/urban or regional disparities.
  • Measure progress explicitly through a national monitoring and evaluation mechanism built on
    existing progress indicators, integrated in the Child Guarantee action plans, with scope to develop
    further progress indicators
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