The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the EU has published the report “Tackling Social and Cultural Inequalities through Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe”. The report includes a review of scientific literature on the impact of high quality education and care on young children, statistical data on relevant demographic characteristics, and a comparative analysis of policy measures.
According to the report, the most effective intervention programmes involve intensive, early starting, childfocused, centre-based education together with strong parent involvement, parent education,
programmed educational home activities and measures of family support.
The report finds that:
- Many countries do not even have any central recommendations or guidelines regarding curricula for the youngest children;
- The problem of access to early child education and care has been virtually solved throughout Europe for 5-year-olds, but this is certainly not the case for the 0-3 age group, or even for 4-year-olds in some countries;
- Home-based education, even when providing parental support, is usually not enough to close the educational gap.