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Indicators for early childhood education and care

Auteur(s) :  Flisi Sara, Blasko Zsuzsa, Stepanova Elena

Editeur(s) :  European Commission (EC)

Date :  09/2022


The new European Care Strategy, aimed at ensuring that people in need of care have access to affordable care of good quality at all stages of their life, includes a proposal for a Council Recommendation for the revision of the so-called Barcelona targets on early childhood education and care (ECEC). The Barcelona targets were adopted by the European Council in 2002 with the aim of removing disincentives to female labour force participation by enhancing the provision of ECEC. This JRC report provides evidence in support of the revision of the Barcelona target for children under 3 years of age, and of the development of possible complementary indicators that can underpin the monitoring of country progress towards the Barcelona objectives. It provides an overview of the existing indicators used in the Commission to monitor participation in early childhood education and care for children below 3, and of the data sources available for this purpose at EU level. It also presents possible options for a more comprehensive monitoring of the progress towards reaching the target: (i) by paying special attention to the ECEC attendance of children aged 1 to 2; (ii) by taking intensity of care into account; and (iii) by paying special attention to children from socially disadvantaged families. The report concludes by offering a number of recommendations for ensuring data quality and helping more adequate monitoring and interpretation of the Barcelona indicator.

1. Introducation

2. An overview of existing ECEC indicators and available data sources at EU level

2.1 Measuring ECEC attendance with EU-SILC

2.2 Measuring ECEC attendance with UOE

2.3 Moving forward

3. Additionnal considerations to better understand progress in ECEC attendance

3.1 Differentiating by the age of the child

3.2 Considering the intensity of care

3.3 Focusing on disadvantaged children

4. Conclusions and implications for revising the target

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mot(s) clé(s) :  recherche en éducation