The Commission report on the Barcelona objectives published today shows that most EU countries have missed the targets agreed by the European Council in 2002 for availability and accessibility of childcare services. Only eight EU Member States were able to meet the targets for both age categories (0-3 years; 3 years to mandatory school age) in 2010: Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia and United Kingdom. Significant improvements still need to be made to achieve a satisfactory level of availability, especially for children under 3. High costs incurred by parents and the opening hours of facilities, which are incompatible with full-time work remain challenging. Investment in high quality services must be continued.
Publications Office of the European Union
pdf, 48 p.