Childcare Issues In The European Union
Commentary on: Parents face shortage of childcare services, says EU report
from Portugal News
A new report from the European Union finds most member nations are missing targets for adequate childcare based on EU goals for 90% of children between the age of three and school age and 33% of children under three having such support. The “Barcelona Targets” are an integral aspect of the EU strategy for growth and jobs that aim to help young parents—in particular women—to be able to work. According to Vladmir Spidia, Commissioner of Employment, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities, the EU is far from reaching its goals of providing sufficient quality childcare so that parents might engage in the workforce.
The European Union is confronting serious problems arising from a dramatic drop in birth rates which suggest the population of many EU nations will decline in the coming decades. He pointed out, “childcare is also a vital ingredient in facing up to demographic ageing” because without high quality childcare, the European Union by 2050 will confront a serious issue of not enough workers. According to the report, more than six million women aged 25-49 say they are not able to work or can only work part-time, because of responsibilities for caring for a child. Few can afford to pay for private childcare.
European nations have among the lowest birth rates in the world. If high quality childcare is not offered to parents—especially to women—the choice is clear-raise the level of immigration or confront a dramatic decline in population. Obviously, the European Union has decided to focus on childcare in hope it can play an important role in avoiding declining population.
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