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Diversity and integration

Childhood education and care - 24.02.2009

EU Commission releases new study on early childhood education and care in Europe
The European Commission has published a new study on early childhood education and care in Europe, and on what measures are taken to favour participation of the most disadvantaged social groups.
The study "Early childhood education and care in Europe: tackling social and cultural inequalities" explores how early childhood education and care is organised in Europe, what the benefits of the different systems are, and what is needed to provide effective education and care to the youngest.
According to the study, funding is generally provided by local authorities, parental contributions and a central contribution with significant variations between countries. Apart from countries which have implemented a universal right to early childhood education and care (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Slovenia), there is a significant shortfall in capacity for the youngest children in Europe. Therefore, in most countries covered by the study, guaranteeing a place for all children and ensuring high quality childcare provisions would require significant additional funding from public authorities.
It is available in English and French.
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