On the 20th of November, the EU Commission published a Communication entitled "Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes" (COM(2012) 669 final). The Communication identifies key challenges to achieve many of the goals set in the 2020 strategy. "Despite progress over the last five years in the percentages of those qualifying from higher education, sustained efforts will be needed to reach the headline target of 40% of young people completing higher education […]
COFACE welcomes this Communication and especially supports several key points:
- The necessity to invest in education and particularly in early childhood education and care. Enough research has shown the beneficial impact of early education investment but this has not always translated in appropriate policy measures at member states level. COFACE is currently lobbying the EU parliament to sign a written declaration to designate 2014 to be the year for reconciling work and family life. Early Childhood Education and Care facilities are key to the implementation of reconciliation policies.
More information here: http://eyf2014.wordpress.com/
- The promotion of policies targeting the most vulnerable groups.These groups are often stuck in an intergenerational transmission of poverty and social exclusion. Children of vulnerable families are always most at risk of early school leaving, negative health outcomes (obesity), unemployment… Policies aiming to break this cycle will enable millions of people to contribute more to society. COFACE is organising a conference on vulnerable families in Dublin on the 4th and 5th of February 2013.
More information here: http://www.coface-eu.org/en/Events/Vulnerable-families/
For more information about the Commission's communication please consult the following website:
Parenting support and education in Europe
The final meeting of Eurofound’s report on Parenting Support and Education in Europe was held in Dublin on the 10 September with the presence of several research bodies, university representatives and social partners such as COFACE. This final gathering of experts aimed at assessing the last draft of the research paper and commenting, amending its content.
COFACE warmly welcomes the work of Eurofound in the area of parenting support and education since the topic coincides with our work in many aspects.
Firstly, several parts of the research document closely follows COFACE’s previous policy papers as well as contributions to consultations, where the notion of positive parenting, peer support, self help groups or the promotion of e-parenting is underscored. Moreover, the concept of family mainstreaming is also well emphasized in the document; a perception that has always been very important in our work at EU as well as member states level.
Secondly, positive parenting cannot happen without both parents dedicating appropriate amount of time to their children. This recognition in the research paper has particular importance for us, considering COFACE’s and other European level networks’ lobby efforts to campaign towards 2014 to be the European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life. The report is to be launched during the next upcoming months and will be widely distributed at all levels.
In today’s societies in which children and youth receive a lot of information and influences (often conflicting ones) from outside their homes, it is important that they learn to be active and develop their ability to think independently and critically.
In this kind of diverse and changing environment, authoritative ways of parenting do not meet the ‘future survival needs’ in a best possible manner. Instead, parents should be co-learners who may negotiate with their children, learn from children’s experiences and draw from their own knowledge resources and experiences for the best interest of the child.
The role of parents is to be sensitive and responsive to child’s needs and opinions. This is the way in which a child assumes an attitude to active citizenship already in early childhood. Interaction with a child should be characterized by mutuality and reciprocity. COFACE supports this approach, called ‘positive parenting’, as a form of good parenting.