Every year, the European Commission publishes a report on Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) across the EU. Chapter 3.2 of the ESDE 2015 report includes a focus on family policy, and provides a useful summary of family policy trends and components.
“Effective family policies are crucial for achieving two of the five policy targets set out in the Europe 2020 strategy. The objective of higher employment rates strongly relies on further increasing the female labour force participation, and poverty reduction depends on investing in children and widening the economic opportunities of parents. The Social Investment Package, and in particular the Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children (European Commission, 2013b), called on the EU Member States to support early childhood development and invest in children and families from a life-course perspective. Policy recommendations included, inter alia, improving access to affordable early childhood education and care, providing adequate income support such as child benefits and stepping up access to quality services that are essential to children’s outcomes.”
Chapter 3.2 of the ESDE 2015 report provides an overview of 1. Different family policy models across the EU and the multiple policy objectives of family policies (tackling child poverty and ensuring household income, employment, children’s well-being and development, fertility and gender equality) 2. The importance of policies to reconcile work and family life to promote women’s employment and gender equality with a reconciliation policy mix of resources (fighting poverty and deprivation by providing cash support, allowances), services (childcare, long-term care) and time arrangements (maternity leave, flexible work arrangements).
See full ESDE 2015 report here