Global Day of Parents: Give children ‘the best start in life’- UNICEF
The Global Day of Parents is observed on the 1st of June every year. It is a day to celebrate parents round the world for their important roles in the family in providing and nurturing their children for a better future.
The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.
UNICEF’s six-point call to action on early childhood development includes:
- Invest urgently in services that give young children, especially the most deprived, the best start in life.
Expand access to effective early childhood development services in homes, schools, communities and health clinics.
Make family-friendly early childhood development policies a national priority – and a private sector imperative.
Collect data on indicators of early childhood development and track progress in reaching the most deprived.
Provide dedicated leadership for early childhood development programmes and coordinate efforts more effectively across sectors.
Drive demand for quality early childhood development services.
UNICEF underscores that “being a parent is the most important job in the world”, saying that they and other caregivers are the main providers of the nutrition, stimulation and protection that every baby needs for healthy brain development.
“During the first few years of life, a child’s brain develops at a never-again-repeated speed of more than one million new neural connections every second” according to the UN agency. “This period offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape a child’s ability to learn, grow and contribute fully to her society”.
While parents want to do the best by their children, many must work long hours, often away from home, to support their families.
The basis for this year’s message: “It’s about time”, underscores that parents need time to provide the “eat, play, love” children require to start their lives.
“Family-friendly policies, such as paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, childcare and child grants, give parents the time they need to build their babies’ brains”, the UN Children’s Fund maintained.
As a shared responsibility, UNICEF calls on businesses and governments to “invest in family-friendly policies, to build more prosperous and fair societies”.