The National Coordination and Monitoring Council under the pilot project for testing the "European Child Guarantee" in Bulgaria held its first meeting

One of the main tasks of the National Council is to help ensure the sustainability and scaling up of the good practices and innovative approaches to be tested under the project

12 April 2021
UNICEF Representative in Bulgaria met children in Sliven at UNICEF suppoted service
UNICEF Bulgaria/2028/Paleykov

SOFIA, 12 April 2021 

"Working to address the underlying causes of child poverty and deprivation through the examination of policies needed to accelerate change and the modeling of innovative approaches  is  of critical importance for  ensuring  that the most vulnerable children can break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage, and are given an equitable chance in life" .

This was stated by UNICEF Representative in Bulgaria Dr. Jane Muita, at the opening of the first meeting of the National Coordination and Monitoring Council, established under the pilot project for Testing the "European Child Guarantee". Bulgaria is one of the seven EU Member States implementing pilot projects to test the “European Child Guarantee” with the support from UNICEF and with funding from the European Commission as part of Phase III of the Preparatory Action. 

The first meeting of the National Council was held on 31 March 2021 and included a presentation of the workplan of the pilot project "European Child Guarantee" and the main activities for 2021. Dr. Muita noted that the meeting of the National Council took place one week after the official announcement by the European Commission of the Strategy of the European Union for the Rights of the Child and the European Child Guarantee – two initiatives aimed to ensure the rights and well-being of children. “Now that societies and governments around the world struggle to cope with the impact of COVID-19, child-wellbeing suffers greatly, and these efforts are extremely important. We truly appreciate the efforts of the EU and those of all partners who are investing in children now," added Dr. Muita.

In her address to the members of the National Council, the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Denitsa Sacheva stated:

"I believe that all members of the National Council will have the opportunity to share their professional experience, opinion and expertise, which will ensure the successful achievement of the project’s objectives and sustainable progress in the policies for improving the well-being of all children in Bulgaria".

During the meeting, the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection and representative of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, also expressed commitment and support for the successful implementation of the pilot project together with other participants.

Dr. Muita thanked the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy for the establishment of the National Council and all participating partners for their engagement and cooperation.

"Overcoming child poverty and social exclusion requires efforts across different sectors, at different levels of government, as well as the involvement of a wide array of stakeholders. Therefore, we rely on the commitment and support from all participants in the National Council"

she added.

One of tasks of the National Coordination and Monitoring Council is to help ensure the sustainability and scaling up of good practices for quality early childhood care, inclusive pre-school education, and the prevention and support of vulnerable children and families.

The participants in the first meeting of the National Coordination and Monitoring Council included: Minister of Labour and Social Policy  Ms. Denitsa Sacheva, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ms. Adriana Stoimenova, UNICEF’s Representative in Bulgaria Dr. Jane Muita, Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection Dr. Eleonora Lilova,  representative of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria and Mayor of Sliven Mr. Stefan Radev, as well as representatives of the Ministries of Health, Education and Science, Finance, the Central Coordination Unit Directorate at the Council of Ministers, Agency for Social Assistance and the National Network for Children.

About the Pilot Project:

The European Child Guarantee is an initiative by the European Commission aimed at providing the most vulnerable children in the European Union with access to healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. The European Commission partners with the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia for the implementation of Phase III of the Preparatory Action, which aims at testing the feasibility of the European Child Guarantee in seven EU Member States.

In Bulgaria, the pilot project is targeted at children with disabilities and developmental difficulties as well as at children living in precarious family situations, including Roma children from vulnerable communities. The main objective of the project is to expand access to and improve the quality of 4 types of services - home visiting services for families with small children; early childhood intervention for children with disabilities and developmental difficulties; quality inclusive pre-school education, and child and family-centered preventive and support services with a focus on children in precarious family situations. The pilot activities are implemented in 10 municipalities in three districts - Burgas, Sliven and Stara Zagora and will reach over 6,500 children and parents, and nearly 600 specialists from different sectors.

More information on the pilot project can be found here.


This project is funded by the European Union

© UNICEF-Bulgaria, 2021

The information and views set out in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

For more information, please contact:

Juliana Koleva, Communications & Visibility Expert, Project Management Unit,

Pilot Testing of the EU "Child Guarantee" in Bulgaria, +359 885 852 833, jkoleva@unicef.org

 

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UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel: +359 882 344 553

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