Investing in childcare and education is of crucial importance to break the circle of disadvantage, reduce inequalities, and increase female employment. The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) represents a unique opportunity for member states to expand the offer of early childhood education and care services.
This Policy study by Francesco Corti, Patrizia Luongo, Christian Morabito and Tomas Ruiz presents preliminary evidence from five member states and shows that:
– countries like Italy and Spain are using the RRF to increase service provision and reduce internal disparities;
– others, like Portugal and Germany, are using these resources to increase spending on childcare, but without any attention to the distributional impact;
– Slovakia stands as a unique case of a country with traditional low levels of spending and coverage of childcare that does not foresee any investment in this regard.
When it comes to the implementation of the plans, the authors identify problems of a threefold nature: the lack of regular funds to cover running costs of the newly created or renovated infrastructure, the lack of support, technical assistance, to providers or local authorities to accurately develop projects’ proposals, and – finally, the lack of time for the same authorities to present valuable projects.