The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, in collaboration with The EDC Action Network, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and many other partners are working together to develop a ‘Nurturing Care Framework’ for early childhood development. To date they have had 2 online consultations inviting people to make comments and have an input on the Framework.
According to The Lancet Series, Advancing Early Childhood Development: From Science to Scale, which was fronted by WHO and UNICEF, Nurturing Care is made up of five indivisible components. These include:
• Safety and security
• Early learning
• Responsive care giving
This Series emphasises that the time from pregnancy to the age of 3 is particularly crucial.
During research for our own publication ‘Relationships Matter’, it was found that infancy is a critical period of life. The relationships formed during this time and the attachments made have a lifelong impact. Children with secure relationships are able to regulate their emotions better and cope better during times of adversity or trauma. This is why it is so important to have a secure family environment.
The Framework is based on vast evidence around childhood development and the effective policies and interventions that help to improve childhood development as well as some of the greatest threats. It explores why improvements to a child’s health and well being must begin from pregnancy. The Framework also outlines how nurturing care can protect children from the effects of adversity and promote emotional, physical and cognitive development and what nurturing care families and caregivers need to provide for young children.
The Nurturing Care Framework aims to describe how a multi sector approach can strengthen and promote the nurturing care of young children, what guiding principles and actions are needed to do so and what monitoring and targets are needed to track progress. The Framework is due to be launched in May and we are very excited to see the final document.
The second draft of the document is now available here.