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European Child Guarantee to be implemented in Sweden

The Government has adopted a national action plan to implement the European Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee. The European Child Guarantee aims to prevent and combat social exclusion by guaranteeing the access of children in need to a set of key services.

The Child Guarantee asks Member States to create an integrated and supporting policy framework for this work. The key services that children in need should be guaranteed are actual and free access to early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities, at least one healthy meal per school day, health and medical care, nutrition and adequate housing.

While most children in the EU, including Sweden, already have access to these services in theory, truly universal access is vital for ensuring equal opportunities for all children. Nevertheless, there are children in Sweden who do not receive or are at risk of not receiving access to key services. This includes children in financially vulnerable families, children living in insecure living conditions, children in socio-economically disadvantaged families, children with disabilities and children who have been placed outside the family home. 

The national action plan includes an analysis of the actual access to key services in Sweden, which regulations apply and which measures are in place to achieve the objectives. This may involve, for example, re-engaging children who are at risk of discontinuing or have already discontinued their education. In most areas mentioned in the Child Guarantee, work to meet the recommendations is already under way.

A considerable part of the work on the Child Guarantee is the follow-up of the national action plan’s formulation of objectives and ongoing measures carried out based on the analysis.

Facts: The European Child Guarantee

On 24 March 2021, the European Commission presented proposals for a Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee. The Council of the European Union adopted the proposal on 15 June 2021. The Child Guarantee aims to promote equal opportunities for children in need and to fight child poverty.

The Member States should develop national action plans for implementation of the Recommendation that apply for a ten-year period. The Member States should then report to the Commission on the progress in implementing the Recommendation every two years. The Government is responsible for regular follow-up of the national action plan. The Recommendation stipulates that the national action plan be adapted to the Member State’s national, regional and local circumstances.