Early childhood offers a critical window of opportunity to shape the trajectory of a child’s holistic development and build a foundation for their future. Afterall, it is in the earliest years of a child’s life where the foundation and capacity to learn is laid, thus making ECEC beneficial for all children, from all backgrounds. It helps to address and prevent any early skills gaps and it is also considered an essential tool to fight inequalities and educational poverty. In turn, quality, affordable and accessible ECEC also allows for increased parental workforce participation.
The European Pillar of Social Rights states that all children have the right to affordable Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) of good quality. Cyprus, among other member states acknowledges the importance of providing affordable high-quality ECEC and is committed to challenging the shortcomings of the current system. Indeed, this goal has been placed at the top of priority list through the Recovery and Reselience Plan adopted in 2021.
To help better address the challenges, this Project aims to support Cyprus in raising the quality, affordability, accessibility and inclusiveness of ECEC, by guiding investments and reforms in the sector as outlined in the national RRP for 2021-2026. This includes a mapping to inform the expansion of facilities, development of a quality framework, and undertaking a range of evidence generation to inform a national ECEC Strategy due to be adopted by the Council of Ministers by the end of 2024.