Child poverty remains a challenge across many EU countries. As of 2016, 26.4 % of children in the EU were at risk of or experiencing poverty or social exclusion.
This paper prepared for the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC), sets out the different EU programmes and funds available to fight poverty among children in the EU and promote their social inclusion and general well-being.
Disadvantage in early life can have significant impacts on opportunities later in life, ranging from material deprivation
as an adult being unemployed or earning lower wages, spending time in prison or becoming a lone parent.
Nonetheless, the problem is a complex one, and many socioeconomic circumstances play a role in determining a
child’s success later in life, such as access to critical services including health, education and social inclusion measures.
As outlined in the 2013 European Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage, the policy response will necessarily be equally multifaceted.
Social policy and welfare initiatives at Member State level are still the most significant policy instruments to tackle
Governments and other actors in the Member States have a number of policies they can employ to support
disadvantaged children and families. These may include routine social transfer programmes; the direct provision of
services and resources, such as subsidised or free childcare or food packages; national-level grants to social partners;
and targeted intervention programmes.