Time to act. Let's make the Child Guarantee a reality!
EASPD and its members gathered on the 8th November for a Policy Café to discuss the EU Child Guarantee national action plans, defining reforms to address child poverty and social exclusion in each EU Member State. For some years now, EASPD and the EU Alliance for Investing in Children have been following and influencing the development of the Child Guarantee, designed to combat and prevent social exclusion and poverty for children. Adopted in the form of a Council Recommendation in June 2021, this initiative calls upon national governments to ensure children in need have adequate and free access to key services as a tool to break the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage. Over the coming months, Member States will develop their national action plans, and it is therefore time for civil society to act and use its expertise and knowledge to foster the inclusion of children in need, including children with disabilities.
Within the framework of the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Child Guarantee represents a key policy tool to help children fulfil their rights by asking EU Member States to provide children at risk of poverty or social exclusion with adequate and free access to a set of essential goods and services. These include high-quality early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities, at least one healthy meal each school day, healthcare, effective access to healthy nutrition, and adequate housing. Children with disabilities and children in alternative and especially institutional care are two of the highlighted key target groups, which is of particular relevance for the work of EASPD and its members.
As first step taken, EU Member States appointed their National Child Guarantee Coordinators, who will be responsible for the planning and implementation of national reforms and for coordination with the EU. Now the time has come for EU Member States to take a second important step and develop their Child Guarantee national action plans that will include reforms to be implemented until 2030. These plans will be drafted by March 2022 and will include the targeted categories of children, the quantitative and qualitative targets to be achieved, a national framework for data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and other measures planned to address child social exclusion.
It is important to note that the Child Guarantee requires involvement and consultation of children and civil society organisations in the development, implementation and monitoring of the action plans. This is an opportunity for EASPD and its members to act, reach out to National Coordinators, and bring their proposals to ensure that children and families access quality, empowering and family-centred support in their communities and natural environments, starting from early childhood intervention.
Let’s act together to make the EU Child Guarantee a reality!
If you wish to be involved in shaping the implementation of the Child Guarantee at national level, contact Irene Bertana, EASPD Senior Policy Officer.
For more information about the topic discussed, please check out this document: Child Guarantee - Policy Cafè November.pdf.