Early Childhood

UNICEF in action

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© UNICEF/ HQ97-0843/ LeMoyne
A girl holds her father's hand during Armenian National Day festivities in Yerevan, Armenia.

Early Childhood Development interventions cut across all UNICEF programme areas.  Ensuring that children develop to their full potential requires interventions in programmes for child survival and development, education, HIV/AIDS, child protection, and social policy and partnerships. For example, UNICEF’s work to support community and family care practices that impact the lives of young children not only use health and nutrition interventions but also add early stimulation and interaction.  Similarly, ensuring that young children are developmentally ready for school is an integral part of UNICEF’s education priority.

UNICEF focuses on three areas of intervention for early childhood development:

a) quality basic health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, education and protection services;

b) good care practices for children within the family and community;

c) early child development policies; and

d) peacebuilding in early childhood. UNICEF works with governments, civil society, private sector, communities, inter-governmental agencies and other partners to achieve the following objectives:

  • Improved service delivery capacity for early childhood development at the national, district and local levels;
  • Improved family and community care practices for survival, growth and development;
  • Develop policies and coordinating structures to include early childhood development into national development plans, funding and mechanisms;
  • Increased ability to monitor child development and family care competencies for informed decision-making;
  • Young children included in programming and policies in emergency response -providing play and learning to ensure their continued development.

By systematically and critically employing a number of proven evidence-based strategies, working across sectors and with partners, utilizing innovative communication channels, building on local strengths and needs, using scientific knowledge and linking services to existing interventions, UNICEF is able to reach communities, parents, families, caregivers and most of all, children.


 

 

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