Monitoring Plan for the Development of Early Childhood Services

The Extraordinary Plan for developing socio-educational services for young children is an initiative to create a regional system that increases the number of existing services and renews the collaboration between the institutions of the State, Regions and Municipalities to concretely implement children’s rights. The objectives also include mitigation of the strong disparity between the North and the South of the country and overall growth of the national system towards European standards, with a view to achieving the 33% coverage objective – set in 2000 by the Lisbon European Council – by 2010.

The Extraordinary Plan, launched with the 2007 Finance Act, provided state funding in the three-year period 2007-2009, which amounted to €446 million used to increase the number of places available in services for children aged 0-3, plus approximately €281 million in local co-financing, for a total of €727 million allocated.

In 2008, a pilot study was carried out that gave an idea of the first results of the Extraordinary Plan, which were very mixed. The first report allowed for a careful evaluation of the monitoring tools, and the template used for the first year was revised in collaboration with the Regions and Autonomous Provinces to make it more effective and functional for the purposes of the report. The pilot report was followed by the publication of the monitoring on 31 December 2008. The next stage is marked by a third report analysing the results of the monitoring on 30 June 2009.