EPIC supports Member States to invest in children
The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) just released a research note on building a better understanding of the impact of Early Childhood Education and Care on medium- and long-term educational and labour market outcomes in Europe.
EPIC is an evidence-based online platform that provides information about policies that can help children and their families face the challenges that exist in the current economic climate in Europe.
The report draws on evidence from 26 academic and governmental sources, to better understand how Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) provision impacts on the medium/ong-term outcomes of children’s education and employment and parents’ employment, and how better evidence could be collected in Europe.
The research is part of a series of research notes developed by EPIC, each focusing on a particular area that is of interest to the European Child Guarantee. This review is particularly important given the European ECEC policy goals articulated in the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Barcelona Targets, as well as the scale of investment in early childhood services.
The review highlighted a few evidences about:
- the beneficial impact of ECEC participation on children’s educational outcomes, and on long-term labour market outcomes, in terms of reducing welfare dependency, working conditions (e.g. skilled jobs, full time contracts) as well as earnings (e.g. higher wages and benefits);
- the provision of public or subsidised ECEC as a key facilitator of parental employment outcomes, particularly for mothers, including a higher employment rate and higher wages.
Evidence suggests that the EU and national governments could support better evidence-base by building a strong approach to data collection and analysis. The studies reviewed suggest some helpful ways in which this might be done:
· using existing administrative data related to educational and labour market outcomes
· collecting additional data on a range of additional variables such as quality and duration of ecec and demographic data of children and their families.
· linking existing datasets and having systems that are standardised to allowed this to happen.