Early childhood education and care is key for preventing the transmission of disadvantage across generations, for addressing child poverty and social exclusion, for providing Europe with skilled citizens, able to contribute to growth, innovation, justice, democracy, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However, European Union education and child care
systems are challenged more and more by reductions in public expenditure and the increasing need to accommodate growing ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity as well as socio-economic inequalities. The EU research Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020 and FP7) have funded a substantial body of research on issues related to early childhood education and care. Their results support policy makers in developing more affective policies. These education policies are also reinforced by EU funding programmes like Erasmus+, which support early childhood staff and teachers in introducing effective educational practices. A selection of projects and partnerships supported by these programmes is also presented in this publication.