A set of briefing resources to learn why the first years of life matter so much, and how to integrate solutions into existing services for families affected by crisis.
Various resources, guidance, articles and statistics addressing Early Childhood Development in times of crisis. The thematic page provides key information for those supporting children in humanitarian contextsor for those who want to.
The Wellbeing Issue: Early Childhood Matters. What does wellbeing mean for parents and other caregivers?
Early Childhood Matters aims to elevate key issues, spread awareness of promising solutions to support holistic child development and explore the elements needed to take those solutions to scale. It is published annually by the Van Leer Foundation.
Childcare is a key pillar of the Family-Friendly Policies initiative, which advocates for government and business support to families in providing nurturing care for young children. This brief argues for greater investment in affordable and quality childcare, highlighting its potential to secure a ‘triple dividend’ of young children’s positive development, women’s empowerment and economic growth.
“Family-friendly policies” is a term used to communicate a specific package of evidence-based policies that support child development, poverty reduction, economic empowerment, gender equality, child protection and improvements in health and education outcomes. They do not only benefit children but every member of a family, in full recognition that every human is a rights-holder –underscoring the idea that children’s rights cannot be protected and extended if their caregivers are left behind.
Family-friendly policies that support lactation are critical to maternal health and well-being, infant health and development, and gender equity in the workplace. Maternity leave policies have a positive impact on breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration.
THE ROLE OF CHILD BENEFITS IN ENABLING FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES TO ACHIEVE THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE: An evidence brief
Child benefits — and universal child benefits in particular — represent the foundation of a comprehensive social protection system and the most effective core instruments tackling poverty. They deliver for families, for business and for the economy; and improve the well-being of families and their children.
Parenting is a wide and multi-faceted policy issue upon which many aspects of the social, emotional and physical development of children are dependent. This note describes how a minimum package of well-evidenced parenting support can significantly prevent abuse and neglect of children. Furthermore, it recommends a universal approach or primary prevention through a basic package of interventions to every parent or caregiver.
For societies and economies to thrive, countries and businesses need to support workers as families and parents, through family-friendly policies, as they carry and raise children from pregnancy to school age. Family-friendly policies are defined as those policies that help to balance and benefit both work and family life that typically provide three types of essential resources needed by parents and caregivers of young children: time, resources and services.
The UNICEF Vision for Early Childhood Development focuses on the period from birth up to primary school entry, with emphasis on the first 1,000 days, because it is scientifically proven that this is the most sensitive period for children’s physical growth and brain development. Policies, programmes and parenting practices that improve child survival, growth and development and reduce the financial strain on health, education, and child protection systems.