Dear Friends,

As you all know, we had our international conference and General Assembly in Paphos, Cyprus just 2 weeks ago. We were proud to present our new Policy Paper on early childhood, The Best Interest of the Young Child. It was a true collaborative effort, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your contributions and unanimous support. Based on the later I assume you all feel ownership of the paper, so you are very much encouraged to disseminate, translate and represent the views encompased in it.

The topic of the conference went beyond early childhood as it was held just a few days before the European Commission published its (hopefully) first package for a more socially just Europe. The Press Release published after the conference reflects the view of those participating at the Paphos event and includes the outcomes of plenary and dedicated conference workshop sessions. By the time you read this newsletter, the French election results will be public. Let's all hope that one of the oldest and largest pillars of Europe will be strong again. But still, we must take the French situation as a warning and act together more and more to make the EU a Europe most people are happy about. This is why we must loudly voice the wishes and needs of parents.

The General Assembly approved the reports of 2016. In case you want to share more with your members about EPA's activities, you can download our Activity Report 2016 and share it. We have started discussing the mid-term work plan for 2018-2020. The discussion will continue online and also at the next GA in Tallinn, in November. As they say: stay tuned for more opportunities to contribute.

We are still collecting answers for our survey on Erasmus+, the deadline has been extended to 10 May, Wednesday to make sure everybody has their say who want to. We already have a good number of replies, so make sure to take a moment to ensure your opinion is also included in EPA's. You just need to spend a few minutes on the online survey. You can contribute in a meaningful way even if you haven't participated in the programme.

Happy May to all of you, all of us.

Eszter Salamon

Ensure you receive all important information from EPA

Newsletters always contain important and official information from EPA. As you already know, according to the new EU GDPR regulations we will have to delete e-mail addresses that are not included in the member's form from our mailing list. If you haven't done so, please send your form as soon as posssible. 

Invite us, share with us

As always, I am inviting you to share news or hot topics that you are dealing with in your own countries. Send us a short, one paragraph newsflash in English that we can publish on the EPA blog to share your projects, success, good practices or concerns with other members.
As you know we have allocated a somewhat larger budget for representation for 2017. Some of you have invited members of the Board to your national events and they seems to become more and more popular. One or two members of the Board are happy to join you if you invite us, sharing costs, EPA covering travel and you covering accommodation and subsistence. This may help you in national advocacy or showing your national members the importance of your EPA membership.
In both the Social Platform and the Lifelong Learning Platform (EPA being a member of both) we are working on supporting the national cooperation of social and education NGOs that share at least their being Europeans, belonging to a European family like EPA. Inviting a Board member or two may offer opportunities for this, too.

ALCUIN Award 2017

You can already submit your suggestions for the 2017 ALCUIN Award using this form. Submission deadline is 15 September, as usual.

A major think tank, created within the COST Action DigiLitEY invited EPA to join them to collect reserach evidence and help establish tools ensure the best and safest possible digital media use for children under 8 - at it means empowering parents. Read our report following the link in the title 

Study visit to Dublin on ECEC
Within the framework of the Erasmus+ project SEQUENCES a 4-day study visit was organised in Dublin, Ireland, to visit early childhood education institutions and larn more about their frameworks and practices. You can read the report following the link in the title. 

The Future of Europe is a Learning Europe
The European Commission published a White Paper on the Future of Europe and the Lifelong Learning Platform published a reaction that we contributed to and agree with. We believe that the future means education and learning - not only for jobs and growth, but to preserve the most valuable element of the European Project, peace.

Investing in children is still important
The European Commission has take stock of the implementation of the Investing in Children recommendations. The Alliance for Investing in Children, EPA is a member of acknowledges that the EC is making an effort, and we all know there is a lot more to do in this field. 

VET Photo Competition
As we are preparing for the Tallinn confernce on career guidance and VET, an event that will happen during the 2nd Vocational Skills Week, the EC and Cedefop have announced a photo competition for VET students. Feel free to disseminate the information and invite young people from your country to participate.

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