European Child Guarantee

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) has adopted the Commission proposal on establishing a European Child Guarantee.

European Child Guarantee

On the 14th of June, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) has adopted the Commission proposal on establishing a European Child Guarantee. 

This initiative implements¬†Principle 11¬†of the¬†European Pillar of Social Rights, according to¬†which¬†‚ÄúChildren have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality.¬†Children have the right to protection from poverty. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the right to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities.‚Ä̬†¬†¬†

The¬†objective¬†of the Child Guarantee is to¬†break the¬†cycle of poverty and social exclusion across generations¬†by¬†providing‚ÄĮguidance and means for the Member States to support¬†children in need,¬†i.e.¬†persons under the age of 18 years who are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

The Guarantee was adopted in light of the vast number of children in the EU who are currently living in households at risk of poverty or social exclusion. 

In 2019, children in need were 22.2% of children in the EU, amounting to nearly 18 million children. Within minority groups, figures are significantly higher; for instance, around 60% of Roma children live in severe material deprivation and 80% are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

The¬†initiative will¬†prevent and¬†fight¬†poverty¬†and‚ÄĮsocial exclusion‚ÄĮby guaranteeing access¬†for¬†children in need¬†to a set of‚ÄĮkey¬†services.¬†

In particular, Member States must guarantee free and effective access for children in need to:  

  • early childhood education¬†and¬†care¬†
  • education¬†and¬†school-based activities¬†
  • at least one healthy meal each school day¬†
  • healthcare¬†

Member States also must guarantee effective access to: 

  • healthy¬†nutrition¬†
  • adequate¬†housing¬†

The Guarantee also requires that Member States take into account the specific needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as those experiencing homelessness, disabilities, children with precarious family situations, migrant, minority racial or ethnic backgrounds or those in alternative care. 


Member States most affected must spend 5% of their allocated funds under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) on fighting child poverty and social exclusion. States can also make use of Next Generation EU, the European Regional Development Fund, InvestEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility to fund measures tackling child poverty and social exclusion. 

Member States are required to establish National Child Guarantee Coordinators, set up National Action Plans, and report every two years to the Commission on the progress in implementing the Guarantee. 


Read in full Child Guarantee – briefing.

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