The founding leave seminar held in Brussels in October 2004 was attended by researchers from a dozen countries, and built on earlier collaborative cross-national work with which the network coordinators – Fred Deven (from CBGS) and Peter Moss (from TCRU) - had both been involved. This collaboration began with the European Commission Childcare Network, an expert group that between 1986 and 1996 undertook studies on a range of issues related to the reconciliation of employment and family responsibilities, including leave policies. When the EC Network ended in 1996, collaboration continued, first with an international seminar convened in Brussels in 1999 that led to an edited book Parental Leave: Progress or Pitfall?; an article overviewing leave policy and research (Marriage and Family Review, special issue on Family Social Policy, 39/3-4, 2006); and then with a special issue of the journal Community, Work and Family (2002, 5/3) on the theme of leave arrangements for parents.
Since the 2004 inaugural meeting as the network has grown and meetings have been held in eleven cites across Europe.