Back to school – and back to campaigning

Tonight is the last Sunday of the summer holidays. The kids are asleep, and the school bags are packed and waiting by the door to be put on little backs, and be carried into the exciting unknown tomorrow, Monday morning.

The end of the summer holidays brings also excitement and anxiety for the parents too. First off, in the overcrowded cities, there are still parents who didn’t manage to secure a place for their child or children in the school or day-care of their choice. They either compromised with another school or nursery, that is perhaps a longer commute away, or more expensive, or they have reached other arrangements, such as hired a nanny, get help from grandparents or relatives, and sometimes one of the parents has to stay at home, give up a job, part-or full-time.

Many of COFACE’s member organisations featured articles in their newsletters and magazines about the cost of schooling, which even in more difficult economic times does not get cheaper. Even last Saturday shops were full of frantic parents trying to decipher complex lists and trying to grab that last blue ring binder, or the last set of paint from the shelves. And such lists already start at first class of kindergarten. Our member organisations made interesting calculations about the cost of schooling for families of 1, 2, 3 or more children.

On Thursday we will participate at the Commission’s conference on “Jobs 4 Europe: The Employment Policy Conference” with all the top EU officials present, Commission President Barroso, Commissioner Andor among others. Gender equality and work-life balance will also be on the agenda. We will bring our 2014 Campaign to the conference, and try to get a response to our initiative. This is in my bag, packed and waiting for me next to the door.

My colleagues and me are taking our 2014 campaign to the exciting unknown next week, and hopefully someone will endorse it soon.

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