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Towards a Child Union

July 01, 2020
Author: Christian Morabito, Michel Vandenbroeck

Reducing Inequalities in the EU through investment in children's early years.

The Child Union is the progressive response to overcome inequalities among children and through generations.

The Child Guarantee, as the EU’s primary response to child poverty and inequalities, is on its way. But progressives need to promote a Child Union which principles focus on improving access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) and better integrating it with other welfare provision. It is an essential element to revamp a sense of solidarity and a welfare state enabling to tackle inequalities while also promoting collective resilience and sustainability.

This research project aims at delineating the mainlines of a Child Union intended as a European programme to fight children's inequalities through access to opportunities for children, to ECEC and to social safety nets.

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Children need to be at the heart of systemic transformations because inequalities are already moulding in the early years of life. Therefore, policies which tackle unfairness among children (and their parents) lay the foundations for social justice and collective resilience.

- Evidence shows that participation in quality ECEC programmes leads to positive gains for disadvantaged children, in the acquisition of capabilities and skills, the benefits of which might be seen through their later educational and life achievements.

- Many progressive leaders across Europe are at the forefront of the fight against children’s inequalities, and they strongly defend investment to promote ECEC in Slovenia, Belgium, Italy, Hungary and Spain.

- Progressives must guarantee that ECEC services are high quality, meaning that they are inclusive and specific to each child’s need to empower children to become agents of changes.

- ECEC policies must be complemented by, and positively interact with, labour and welfare policies that tackle the root causes of inequalities among children.

Europe is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis, the Child Union must be considered as an integral part of the post-COVID19 recovery.

This study carried out by FEPS in partnership with Progresiva Foundation (Slovenia), Pablo Iglesias Foundation (Spain), Reggio Children (Italy) and the Institute for Social Democracy(Hungary)

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