The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group



The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group (AFC-ENG) is the community of people working for Improving the Quality of Childhood in Europe


The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group (AFC-ENG) was set up in 2006 by Michiel Matthes and Christopher Clouder, and it held its first meeting in Brussels in that same year. It has partners (organizations and individuals) from over 15 European countries. (See the list of the partners here.)


The AFC-ENG welcomes new partners, whether organizations or individuals. (See Finances.)



  • European societies placing the quality of childhood in the centre of all their activities and thoroughly assessing the effects of their decisions on children.



  • To increase the respect for childhood as a basis for human development and to create awareness of the needs of all children.
  • To develop and inspire ideas for solutions to those problems which could endanger the good quality of childhood.
  • To provide a platform for contacts, inspiration, exchange, peer learning, encouragement and dialogue among policy makers, decision makers, researchers, practitioners, parents and all people that have an influence on children’s lives.



The Council

The AFC-ENG has an international Council to support the Chairman in the establishment of the mission:


Clara AertsCoordinator of the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE)
Christopher Clouder, Co-founder of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group, international lecturer, UK
Daniel Kropf, the founder and Executive Vice Chair of the Learning for Well-being Foundation
Michiel Matthes, Chairman and co-founder of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group
Lea Pulkkinen, Professor emerita at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Chair of the Haukkala Foundation
Nickel van der Vorm, former General Director of the Netherlands Institute for Educational Matters (NIVOZ)




The impact of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group on European Societies is channeled in many ways.


The AFC-ENG provides a space for reflection about the way that children are brought up in our societies, about the habits and practices that diminish the Quality of Childhood, and about ways in which it could be improved.


In this domain a large group of experts and pioneers - from many European countries and beyond have been brought together, and a vast body of knowledge has been gathered and made available to policy makers, practitioners, politicians and the public at large.


These activities have also had an impact on the partners of the AFC-ENG, and through them on the societies of which they are a part and countries in which they are based.


The work of the AFC-ENG has been recognized by invitations to serve as an NGO partner in many EU-funded research projects and in the Working Group on Early Childhood of the European Commission. 



Endorsed Policy Statements

Please see our endorsed Policy Statement here 



Social Media 

You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Furhter information here