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European Commission urges more efforts on childcare

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08:25, June 04, 2013

BRUSSELS, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Monday urged EU member states to make more efforts on childcare, as two thirds of the bloc's 27 members had failed to reach its common targets.

According to the Commission's latest report, only eight out of 27 EU member states met the targets for availability and accessibility of childcare services, including Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia and the UK.

The targets had been agreed by EU leaders back in 2002, demanding that childcare should be provided for 90 percent of children between three years old and the mandatory school age, and for 33 percent of children under three.

"Member states have to buckle down... Childcare provision should not be seen as a cost, but as an investment in tomorrow," the commissioner for justice and fundamental rights Viviane Reding said here on Monday.

Last week, the Commission also provided country-specific recommendations with emphasis on childcare availability and quality issues for a number of member states.

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