European Platform for Investing in Children helps identify 'practices that work' across member states

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RAND Europe created and maintains the online European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC). Reflecting the European Commission’s policy focus on children at risk, EPIC collects, evaluates, and disseminates practices that improve outcomes for children. RAND applies a rigorous evaluation framework for the identification of effective, lasting, and transferable child policy practices in Europe.


In late February 2013, the European Commission (EC) adopted a new Recommendation: 'Investing in Children - breaking the cycle of disadvantage', annexed to the new Social Investment Package.

Referring to the new Recommendation, Commissioner László Andor launched the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) in a speech at the Council of Europe Conference on Poverty and Inequalities in Societies of Human Rights. Andor explained that EPIC 'will collect and disseminate innovative practices' in areas such as early childhood education and care or parenting support.

An EU news release noted, "For children, disadvantage and exclusion experienced at an early age continue to have an impact on their ability to succeed at later stages of their lives. This is reflected in high drop-out rates in education and reduced employment opportunities, often creating a cycle of disadvantage that is repeated across generations. Studies show that tackling childhood disadvantage early, before it compounds, is the best way to ensure that people live up to their full potential."

New steps will also be discussed with Member States to improve or complement EU indicators as regards child deprivation, quality and affordable childcare, children's health and the situation of the most vulnerable children.


RAND Europe is helping the EC by creating and maintaining the online EPIC platform, by redesigning the current European Alliance for Families (EAF) platform to reflect the EC’s new policy focus. EPIC will continue to serve as a platform for the collection and evaluation of good policy practices with relevance to children, and to foster cooperation and mutual learning in the field through thematic seminars and workshops.

The "Practices that Work" section of the website will continue to be maintained by RAND Europe, to highlight practices that have been found to have a positive impact on children and families in European Union Member States. Information on practices can be submitted online, and if their impact has been evaluated in the past, the practices are reviewed under a coherent evaluation framework. Where sufficient evidence exists, practices are listed in a separate section of the website for Evidence-Based Practices.

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Christian van Stolk

Current Team Members

  • Michaela Bruckmayer
  • Axelle Devaux
  • Sashka Dimova
  • Lucy Hocking
  • Stijn Hoorens
  • Barbara Janta
  • Hui Lu
  • William Phillips
  • Natalie Picken

Former Team Members

  • Matteo Barberi
  • Ben Baruch
  • Julie Bélanger
  • Janna van Belle
  • Miriam Broeks
  • Maya Buenaventura
  • Cloe Gendronneau
  • Eleftheria Iakovidou
  • Becky Ioppolo
  • Lauren Kendrick
  • Rebecca Kilburn
  • Teryn Mattox
  • Sunil Patil
  • Sue Phillips
  • Rachel Ross
  • Daniel Schweppenstedde
  • Yulia Shenderovich
  • Megan Sim
  • Martin Stepanek
  • Katie Stewart
  • Lance Tan

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    Researchers examined the challenges that homeless children and family face in accessing healthcare, interventions aimed at supporting their access to healthcare, and facilitators of these interventions in this report aimed at policy makers.

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    Benefits of extracurricular activities for children

    09 Jun 2021

    Extracurricular activities are generally viewed as a way to enable children to become active citizens in their community and develop soft skills. This research note summarises the existing evidence on their benefits, their ability to support social inclusion, and the ways providers can support disadvantaged children to access them.

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    The childcare gap in EU member states

    08 Mar 2021

    In many EU member states, there is a period in which families with young children are unable to benefit from well-compensated childcare leave or a guaranteed place in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). Researchers examined policies in place to address this childcare gap.

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