Published in:
Dr. Mihaela Ionescu,; Francesca Colombo,

Putting early childhood at the heart of the European Child Guarantee

The Child Guarantee is an opportunity to increase public investment in early childhood development services and support, with both domestic resources and EU funding. It is an opportunity to develop comprehensive, integrated, cross-department policies and strategies that support families and households with very young children in a holistic way, with a specific focus on children under three, who are often neglected in public policy.

Our Recommendations

We Urge EU Member State to:

  • Adopt an integrated, multi-sector approach to early childhood, that addresses the needs of very young children and their families with a comprehensive system of services, including parenting and family support.
  • Increase public investment in early childhood services and support, including universal access to quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) for children under three.
  • Adopt national plans with specific, targeted measures to ensure access to essential services for all young children in need, especially those experiencing discrimination and social exclusion, such as Roma and Traveller children, children
    with disabilities, migrant, refugee and undocumented children, children at risk of entering, or in, alternative care, and those in extreme poverty.

We Urge the European Commission to:

Adopt a robust monitoring framework to assess progress on the implementation of the Child Guarantee, which includes comparable disaggregated data, and which supports efforts to enhance the availability of disaggregated data on children under three and their families, and their access to services.

This paper was developed under the First Years, First Priority Campaign.

First Years, First Priority is a joint initiative of Eurochild and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA). We are the leading European networks representing the children’s rights and the early childhood sectors. Our partnership pools our respective strengths to campaign for the prioritisation of early childhood development in public policies across Europe. The European Public Health Alliance and Roma Education Fund are associate partners.