A new Council Recommendation on High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems was made at the Council of the European Union’s Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council at the end of May.
Council Recommendations are discussed and voted on following specific procedures. Although they are not legally binding, they do hold political weight. The intention is that Member States use them when preparing legislation.
The Council Recommendation on High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems aims to help Member States to improve the quality of their early childhood education and care systems and ensure better access to them. It recognises that good investments in early childhood education and care must be inclusive, accessible, affordable and high quality in order to deliver benefits to society.
The new Recommendation includes clear advice to use the Agency as a resource. It says: ‘Promote transparent and coherent monitoring and evaluation of early childhood education and care services at the appropriate levels with a view to policy development and implementation. Effective approaches could include ... implementing existing tools to improve the inclusiveness of early childhood education and care provision such as the Inclusive Early Childhood Education Learning Environment Self-Reflection Tool developed by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education’ [link added].