THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 165 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,
(1) The European Pillar of Social Rights (1) states as its 11th principle that all children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality. This is in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2) which recognises education as a right, with the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child and with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 that foresees that all girls and boys should have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education by 2030.
(2) In its Communication ‘Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture’ (3) the European Commission sets out the vision of a European Education Area acknowledging the role of early childhood education and care in laying solid foundations for learning at school and throughout life. The Council Conclusions on school development and excellent teaching (4) and the Council Recommendation on Key Competences for lifelong learning (5) reiterated the pivotal role that early childhood education and care can play in promoting learning of all children, their well-being and development.