Investing in children is not only crucial for the child’s development and to empower the child’s rights, but also has numerous short and long-term positive effects on society and the economy, such as facilitating a healthy work-life balance, lowering the long-term costs of support care, and facilitate long-term inclusion in society.
There are various tools that help ensure the compliance with children’s rights in the European Union, such as the Child Guarantee and the European Child Strategy, which will be renewed in 2021 and will last until 2024. Among their principles there are family support and access to quality services, with a specific section dedicated to services for children with disabilities.
On the occasion of 20h November, World Children’s Day, EASPD wants to highlight some of its aspects in particular, and urges the European Commission to:
- Support access to services for families and children.
- Promote quality, family-centred models of services.
- Promote better staff training and retention.
- Pay particular attention to transition periods.
- Supported the development of comprehensive, legal frameworks.
- Set up strong monitoring goals.
- Link with the new Multiannual Financial Framework.
Click here to read the report on EASPD’s position.
To reiterate the importance of proper Early Childhood Intervention, EASPD partakes in the ECI Agora project, which aims at empowering ECI services in Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania. In particular, the project partners will create national Agoras, which will enable services to:
- Share expertise
- Find solutions to their identified problems
- Connect with potential partners for their project
- Find potential funders for their investment plans
In Europe today there remains a divide in access rates to quality ECI services and, despite of their proven benefits, ECI is rarely high on the political agenda of policy makers. The ECI Agora project aims to change this and support the development of adequate ECI systems at a local and national level by:
- Supporting staff professionalisation in ECI services through the development of training modules adaptable to the needs and context of each organisation.
- Creating an all-embracing learning and convening space to bring together essential actors to co-produce high quality ECI services.
- Producing practical guidance and tools to provoke a systemic change on the social welfare system.
- Developing examples that can serve as inspiring guidelines for other countries in Europe and other groups of children with special needs or at risk of exclusion.