On the 15th of May 2023, International Day of Families, COFACE and its member organisations raised awareness on different topics affecting families today. COFACE Families Europe developed a thematic note to trigger a debate on quality ECEC. COFACE calls on EU institutions and national policy-makers to start working on European minimum quality standards to be respected by all ECEC providers as a precondition for receiving funding, taking the health and well-being of children as starting point for such standards.
Many COFACE member organisations celebrated the International Day of Families by organising incredible campaigns and initiatives. Some examples can be found below:
- The Association of German Familes (AGF) organised an event on the topic of “Family and Housing: Burdens of rising energy and housing costs” in Berlin. In view of the burdens caused by rising housing and energy costs, the event took stock of the situation and discussed strategies and measures to improve the situation for the families. In the discussions, it was emphasized, among other things, that problems on the housing market are unlikely to be solved in the short term and that many measures must interact and screws must be adjusted in parallel.
- The Gezinsbond launched the Family Barometer to mark the International Day of Families and asked what is on the minds of parents in Flanders with children between 0 and 18 years old. The barometer gauges well-being and confidence in five life domains: income, relationships and well-being, quality of life, children’s future and the combination of work and family. With an average score of 6.9, families in Flanders, Belgium, appear relatively satisfied. The greatest satisfaction is with housing quality. Single parents and newly composed families have financial concerns. Thus, 68 % of parents without a partner worry about their income and among newly composed families, it is 58 %.
- The Union Nationale des Associations Familiales (UNAF France) focused on the diversity of family organisations in its network. It brings together around 70 national family movements, and 6000 family associations. Throughout France, this network of associations enables families to find answers to their needs (parenting, training, health, consumption…) and to get involved in sharing them with other families.
- The Unión de Asociaciones Familiares (UNAF Spain) recalls that the social recognition of family diversity, which will be reflected in the future national Family Law, is the result of a long effort to raise awareness and demands of the civil society movement, which has given voice to the new social realities and has been a promoter of the democratic transformation of the country. In addition to these legislative advances, UNAF considers it essential to continue raising awareness in society about diversity, from schools and through campaigns and workshops, to fight against discrimination, prejudice and violence.
- Find out more campaigns and initiatives from the Spanish Confederation of Families of Deaf People (FIAPAS), Fundacja Share the Care and Isadora Duncan.
It is also key to note that on the occasion of the International Day of Families in May 2023, Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, reflected on the importance of policies that promote the equality and well-being of families. Furthermore, both the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and UN Women raised awareness on unpaid care work being mostly done by women.
COFACE and its members will keep promoting the well-being, health and security of all families.