Guaranteeing Early Childhood Intervention: The best start in life for those who need it the most
Family-centred early childhood intervention (ECI) is a field of services for young children and their families which helps to identify, prevent, overcome, or minimise at-risk situations. They do so by working with families as equal partners with the objective of increasing the well-being of all family members, by building the support around their needs and by focusing on strengthening the parents’ capacity and trust.
EASPD and its Member Forum on ECI decided to shed light on the need for quality ECI services. In collaboration with other NGOs, the Member Forum is launching a position paper that defines quality ECI, highlights challenges and proposed solutions to national and EU policymakers.
The paper will be launched on 10th November from 14:00 to 15:30 CET, during a webinar which will describe what is family-centred ECI, and why it should be guaranteed to all children and families that may need it. The event will discuss the EU recommendations formulated in the paper with MEPs, including Dragos Pislaru and Stelios Kympouropoulos.
Sign Language Interpretation and Captioning will be available during the webinar.
Quality ECI is crucial not only to the future of the child, but also the family of the child, and for society at large. However, what we see today in Europe is a weak regulatory and funding framework which results in a fragmented landscape, with differences in quality, style, and availability of these services.
This paper highlights the main challenges and proposes solutions to EU and national authorities. Today, only few European countries have laws on family-centred ECI and the visibility of ECI is very weak in both, the Disability Rights Strategy and the Child Guarantee. The recent European Care Strategy has a strong focus on early childhood education and care but again does not address early childhood intervention, which is often a precondition for children to access education.
It also strongly focuses on the family-centred approach as a key element for quality ECI, essential to improve the family’s bond, preventing the placement of children in institutions, as well as boosts the participation of children in education and in society.
EASPD, its member and partners believe that Early Childhood Intervention is a fundamental building block for a better future for children, their families and society at large. The webinar and the position paper will hope to help raising awareness on this important issue.