According to Eurostat data, from 2020 to 2021 over 200.000 more children in the EU were driven to the brink of poverty. This brought the total number of children at risk of poverty and social exclusion to over 19.6 million – or one in four. These figures will likely increase considering the compounding social emergencies witnessed in the last few years. While the situation varies from country to country, and some groups of children are even more exposed than others, the result is always the same; children’s rights are not respected, protected, or fulfilled. Even temporary deprivation experiences can have devastating consequences for a child, lasting a lifetime, if not generations.
Integrated early childhood development policies and services as a tool for reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion
In particular, the early years of a child’s life are crucial in determining children’s physical, mental, social, and emotional development. Inequalities are typically established at a very young age, negatively influencing their life-course opportunities, well-being, and health. Acting as early as possible is thus crucial in ensuring that each child can reach their full potential.