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Government urged to boost early childcare and education

Four children with painted faces in a creche
Children who benefited from good pre-school education often become to be happier and healthier in life. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

A panel of experts has called for increased efforts to boost early childcare and education availability in Switzerland.

The Swiss-branch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)External link committee said more cooperation was needed between the national, cantonal, local authorities with the private sector.

It acknowledged that progress has been made over the past few years, but a more coherent policy was needed to improve the situation for children at a pre-school age.

The 20-member government advisory commission urged cantons and municipalities to offer pre-school care and education opportunities at affordable prices for low-income families.

In a report published on Tuesday, the experts also recommend measures to ensure the quality of the personnel working in childcare and education.

Children with a good education and care in their early years are “healthier, more content and more successful” later in life, according to the report.

The Swiss parliament last September extended for a third time a state-funded programme, despite opposition by the government, to boost the number of creches and other school care centres.

The programme was introduced in 2003 with the aim of creating about 57,400 places for children across the country.

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