(03 June 2013) – Member States will need to step up their efforts to improve childcare provisions if the EU is to reach its 75% employment rate target by 2020, said the European Commission in a report released today.
The progress report finds that just eight countries have met both targets agreed at EU level for availability and accessibility of childcare services (see Annex). The so-called ‘Barcelona targets’, agreed by EU leaders in 2002, say that childcare should be provided for 90% of children between three years old and the mandatory school age, and for 33% of children under three.
Figures for 2010 show that most EU countries have missed their own targets for childcare provision: only eight were able to meet the targets for both age categories (0-3 years; 3 years to mandatory school age): Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Only 10 Member States reached the first category target (0-3 years) and 11 the second category target (3 years to mandatory school age).