Press Releases

5. 2. 2009 16:53

Early childcare – central topic of meeting of Family Affairs Ministers

EU Ministers for Family Affairs meet in Prague for the second day to discuss forms of early childcare in relation to the implementation of the Barcelona objectives. The meeting will be followed by a Presidency conference on parental childcare and employment policy on 5-6 February. The Presidency aims to strengthen the perception of domestic parental care of small children as a form of employment in its own right. The meeting of ministers will be officially launched on Wednesday, 4 February at a welcome dinner in the Kampa Museum. The next day, the debate on the Barcelona objectives in pre-school childcare with respect to the best interests of the child and early childcare will begin in the Prague Congress Centre with an opening speech by Labour and Social Affairs Minister Petr Nečas. The Barcelona objectives, fixed in 2002, are purely quantitative provisions stipulating that caring services should be available for 90% of children from the age of 3 until school age and 33% of children younger than 3 years by 2010. The Czech Presidency wants to highlight the qualitative aspects of early childcare, to stress the best interests of the child and to incorporate these aspects in relevant policies.

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