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A framework for quality: A European perspective

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Penn, Helen
Fact sheet
Publication Date: 
1 May 1999

This is a review "Quality targets in services for young children" by the European Commission Network on Childcare and other Measures to Reconcile Employment & Family Responsibilities (1996).

The European Commission Network on Childcare and Other Measures to Reconcile Employment and Family Responsibilities was set up in 1986. The Childcare Network has been gathering information and providing analyses of services for young children in the European Union for ten years.

"Quality targets in services for young children", published in 1996, is the outcome of a series of seminars, meetings and working parties held in different venues across Europe, looking at different aspects of quality and how these might be transformed into a policy framework which could serve as a guide to member states.

Europe is very diverse. Despite this diversity and complexity, it was possible for the Childcare Network to achieve consensus about a broad policy framework for early childhood services.

The following interdependent areas make up a policy framework for early childhood services. They all have to be addressed and their linkages established. Taken separately and without reference to each other, they lose their impact:

- Targets for policy
- Targets for finance
- Targets for levels and types of services
- Targets for education and curriculum
- Targets for staff-child ratios
- Targets for employment and training
- Targets for environment and health
- Targets for working with parents and the community
- Targets for measuring performance