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Breaking the cycle of disadvantage: Early childhood interventions and progression to higher education in Europe [Executive summary]

This brief looks at the impact of child-targeted interventions in early childhood education and care (ECEC) as well as initiatives to widen access to higher education in Europe, and their impact on social mobility in later years. Rapid brain development in the early years presents both challenges and opportunities to invest in children -- in particular for those from poorer backgrounds -- to develop both academic and social-behavioural skills for long-term returns. In the context of economic uncertainty, investing in high-quality ECEC appears to be an effective evidence-based social policy tool, although it should not be considered a panacea. The level of ECEC provision is very unequal across the EU: to be effective, it needs to be of high quality. One way to break the cycle of disadvantage would be to develop ambitious indicators and policy goals, that link ECEC provision for underrepresented groups to access to higher education. (author abstract)
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Executive Summary

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