Reducing inequalities from the first years of life: the role of Early Childhood Development

4 May 2021

14:00-16:00 CEST


The first years of life provide crucial foundations for life-long health and well-being. Yet many vulnerable children, such as Roma and Travellers, children with disabilities, migrants and refugees, those at risk of poverty and children at risk of/placed in alternative care do not have the opportunity to realise their full potential, putting them at higher risk of poverty and exclusion later in life.

Such disparities are avoidable and preventable, however they require sustained commitment and public investment from the earliest years of life.

Join EPHA and Eurochild for a workshop to discuss what Early Childhood Development policies are needed to provide equitable solutions to health and social inequalities, advance “social Europe,” and contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

This workshop is organised as part of the Social Platform flagship conference taking place in collaboration with the Portuguese Government in the framework of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

14:00-14:10 | Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Radost Zaharieva, Policy Coordinator for Health Inequalities, European Public Health Alliance
  • Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, Eurochild
14:10-14:40 | The importance of tackling exclusion and inequality in early childhood

The importance of early childhood development: opportunities and challenges at EU and national level: Jana Hainsworth, Eurochild; Mihaela Ionescu, Program Director, International Step by Step Association 

Early childhood development as a major component of health equity: perspectives and challenges for children from vulnerable groups: European Public Health Alliance 

Reducing child poverty and exclusion among children with disabilities through integrated measures for early childhood development: Maureen Piggot, Treasurer and Board Member,  Barbara Norris, European Disability Forum

Moderator: Agata D’Addato – Senior Project Manager, Eurochild

14:40-14:50 | Questions and Discussion
14:50-15:40 | The EU’s role in promoting children’s rights and social inclusion of children from vulnerable groups: reactions and reflections

Access to maternal and child health services for undocumented migrants: Alyna C. Smith, Senior Advocacy Officer, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (Picum)

Tackling discrimination and exclusion of Roma children through comprehensive and inclusive early childhood development measures within the post 2020 Roma Strategic Framework: European Commission, Lavinia Banu, Policy Officer, DG Justice and Consumers      

The European Child Guarantee and its potential for tackling child poverty and exclusion by investing in early childhood: Irma Borde, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Moderator: Géraldine Libreau, Policy Officer – Early childhood education and care, European Commission, DG Education and Culture

15:40-15:50 | Questions and Discussion
15:50-16:00 | Closing Remarks and Conclusion

MEP Dragoș Pîslaru, Vice-Chair of the MEP Intergroup for Children’s Rights

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