Lecture and abstract of the conference entitled:
Demography and the Culture of Relationship between Couples
27-29 May 2021, Hungary
Organized by Family Science Alliance, Batthyány Society of Professors and European Family Science Society
Care for children up to three years of age: is a family-friendly system possible?
The period of the first three years of a child’s life is of key importance for the child’s development and at the same time requires particularly intensive involvement of the carers.
In all European countries, social policy instruments have been developed to support care of children from this age group. Their structure is fundamentally different, and individual countries define differently the basic purposes they are supposed to serve – focusing on objectives related to parents’ economic activation, impact on demographics or creating optimal conditions for the child’s development.
The policy of the European Union on the system of care of children under 3 years of age is not supported by the preferences and choices of parents, who, also in pan-European empirical studies, declare their willingness to provide personal care of young children in most cases. Also at European level, institutional care is favoured only by a small group of parents.
It is time to re-orientate the childcare system in such a way that the centre of the system is the family in a subjective way. It is the best interests of the child and the needs of parents that should determine how the public money will be spent on childcare in a particular case.
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