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This report provides a current analysis of Member States' progress towards meeting the 'Barcelona targets'. It initially examines the progress towards reaching the Barcelona targets by comparing and then extending the results presented in 2008. However, it also extends the previous 2008 analysis in a number of ways, namely it examines: the impact of parenthood on employment, public spending on childcare and the cost, affordability and quality of childcare. The report also summarises the extent to which the Barcelona targets have been met by Member States by the agreed deadline of 2010. Where possible, data were examined for 27 EU Member States and where available, EFTA countries Norway and Iceland, the cost, affordability and quality of childcare.

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This research was commissioned by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Fundamental Rights. The study was jointly undertaken by RAND Europe and the University of Groningen.

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