In 2019 Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the creation of a European Child Guarantee with a view to ensuring that every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion has access to the most basic of rights like healthcare and education.
The objective of the European Child Guarantee, adopted by the Council in June 2021, is to prevent and combat social exclusion by guaranteeing the access of children in need to a set of key services:
- early childhood education and care
- education (including school-based activities)
The European Child Guarantee itself will be effective only within a broader set of integrated measures, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, and within a broader policy framework of the EU strategy on the Rights of the Child.
In 2021 the Council asked the Member States to submit action plans on how they will implement the child guarantee. The action plans should cover the period until 2030 and take into account national, regional and local circumstances as well as existing policy actions and measures to support children in need.
The main purpose of the national action plans is to describe the existing and planned national and subnational policy measures, which aim to improve access of children in need to the set of key services covered by the European Child Guarantee.
The Spanish Child Guarantee National Action Plan submitted on 11 July focuses on:
- Increase the number of public places in early education and prioritise free access for students at risk of poverty or social exclusion, particularly in rural areas.
- Increase public education spending to a 5% of GDP by 2030.
- Reinforce social protection prioritising the most vulnerable children.
- Expand health service coverage (especially in mental health and ophthalmology).
- Promote of foster care and the transformation of residential centers.
- Increase public housing and prioritise access to families with children and adolescents.
- Implement mechanisms for child and youth participation in public policies and services.
Eurochild related webpage: