School and nursery closures, lockdowns, and ongoing pandemic restrictions brought huge changes to children and families. The way parents communicated with their children about these events was vital in helping children to cope.
Mental health problems have been increasingly recognized as one of the most significant health concerns for children and adolescents in developed countries. But the quality of existing evaluations can make drawing conclusions about what works in preventing the development of anxiety and/or depression in children difficult.
Employers and policymakers play a crucial role in ensuring that women are not unnecessarily disadvantaged when they have children. Policies such as access to family leave, job protection, and childcare options can play a large role.
Rainbow families can face challenges because of ongoing discrimination against LGBTIQ people. The first EU strategy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, nonbinary, intersex, and queer equality sets out actions and initiatives to ensure the safety and equal rights of LGBTIQ people in the EU.
Children have a right to participate in decisionmaking that affects them. It will be important to ensure that there are mechanisms in place to support that process, and that they are resilient, even in times of crisis.
Children in Europe are at a higher risk of poor-quality and overcrowded housing. Efforts to improve the quality of children's living environments could be key to mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on children and their households.
Rising levels of social inequality and diversity in Europe have made social inclusion a priority for the European Union. However, it remains a challenge to ensure access to quality early childhood education and care for all children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
More than 60 years ago, the EU introduced the principle of equal pay for equal work for men and women. But a gender pay gap persists in most countries. In 2014, a European Commission Recommendation encouraged measures to aid pay transparency, but implementation has been limited.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which set a legal framework and put children's rights firmly on the international policy agenda, was adopted 30 years ago. While there are a number of initiatives in place, more work could be done to maximize children's involvement in policy and decisionmaking on issues that affect their lives.
One third of children in the EU are exposed to damp or mold, cold, darkness, and noise in their own homes. The good condition of homes should not only be seen as an issue of comfort, but as an essential basic requirement for good health of the residents, especially when they are families with children.
For parents, knowing whether they are raising their children the “right” way can feel like an impossible task. Parenting programs can make a unique and indispensable contribution to child well-being, and ultimately give children the resilience to thrive, even in challenging circumstances.
The active involvement of both a mother and a father in the upbringing of a child has great social and psychological benefits. Yet, despite legal provisions allowing parents to take time off to look after children, such as parental leave, many men are still reluctant to take it.
Access to education is a fundamental children's right in the EU and is guaranteed under a variety of legal and policy frameworks. Despite many approaches and initiatives adopted across the EU, a number of challenges remain concerning the development of effective long-term education measures for migrant children.
Disadvantaged children underperform educationally partly because on average they experience more risk factors. Interventions to address multiple causes of underperformance for disadvantaged children may have a better chance of success. The calibre of early childhood education and care professionals also likely matters.
Fathers' involvement in child care has considerable benefits for their children, mothers, employers, and themselves. Paternity and parental leave are important, but pay, flexibility, and eligibility remain significant barriers to uptake by fathers across Europe.
Nearly 26.4 percent of children across the EU are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, poverty or social exclusion. The proposed Child Guarantee initiative might help address this issue. But it could also be worthwhile to encourage member states to look at funding mechanisms that are already in place.
Productivity growth in the UK has seen its weakest decade since the 1820s. Chancellor Hammond increased the size of a national productivity fund to £31bn. While building people's skills and investing in infrastructure can boost productivity, the problem could also be solved if people got more sleep.
The police play a critical role in determining whether young people are either directed towards or diverted away from the justice system. Introducing policing targets can create perverse incentives and raises particular concerns because of the potential damaging effects that criminalization can have on young people.
Employers looking to address mental health problems among staff must recognize the causes and understand mental health challenges within the organization. Construction workers could face greater risk than workers in other sectors, but awareness of support and help remains low.