When the seeds of inequality are sown in the first months and years of life, what kind of future do children have waiting for them? And what kind of future for our societies?


When you look back on yourself as a child, what comes to your mind? For some, it’s happy memories. Toys. Birthdays. A house. A bedroom. Friends. Family. Love.

And for others?

Since 2011, there has been little improvement in children’s lives. Across Europe, right now, child poverty remains far too high. Even in the most supposedly developed nations, an inexcusably large percentage of children will never have the chance of happy memories like these. In the best case 14% and in the worst case 47% of children are at risk from poverty and social exclusion. Their start in life is a false start.

This is why the Children and Youth Support Organisation (CYSO) and Europe-wide network Eurochild launched an urgent new campaign First Years, First Priority, to push to ‘Invest in early childhood development to unlock the potential of every child.’ by prioritizing early years and not just for the immediate benefit of children currently at dire risk, but for the benefit of society. 

With funding comes education, proper preventive health care and social support. With education, better health and social support comes a higher standard of living, lower rates of health problems in later life and a better society for us all. It starts with giving priority to those who are the vulnerable in the formative first months and years of life.

Campaign was launched on 15th December 2020, and focuses on prioritizing children from birth to 6 years, with a special attention to the first 1,000 days. 

‘Invest in early childhood development to unlock the potential of every child.’