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Principle 11

Childcare and support to children

The majority of Member States underperformed in the EU2020 and Barcelona Objectives. Public investments in this field are decreasing instead of increasing. Poverty among children and opportunities for children strongly rely on the income and social assets of the household they grow up in. It is also important to ensure access to high quality and accessible childcare, together with access to quality education, leisure facilities and health care in order to allow children to fully develop their personality and talents and also workers, particularly women, to be able to fully participate in the labour market, and in the long-term increased equality in society.

A child guarantee should cover all children without exception, and should encompass free access to education, child care, educational leisure, health care, housing and nutrition of high quality. The EU should reinforce the universality – and quality – of public services, which also benefits vulnerable children and their families. The child guarantee should be a way to achieve full application of the UNCRC, universality being a key principle. The Barcelona targets should be updated and fostered.

As regards childcare facilities, these must be accessible (geographically and for children with disabilities), affordable and of high quality.

Actions aimed at setting a minimum floor of rights in the EU, a level playing field in the Single Market

  1. An EU Universal Child Guarantee for all children in order to combat child poverty and foster social inclusion.
  2. European social partners seminar on childcare provisions in the EU, as part of their autonomous work programme 2019-2021

Actions aimed at establishing upward convergence in living and working conditions

  1. Anti-Poverty Action Plan with specific focus on: (i) Ensuring accessible, free and quality public services, including social services and childcare facilities; (ii) Access to quality education for all children; (iii) Addressing household poverty
  2. Fulfil social partners demands for public investment in care facilities for children and collective bargaining potential to meet the specific needs of working parents.