Give kids the best start in life
Fact: For many children under five, early childhood care, education, health and nutrition – or lack of – can mean the difference between life and death.
Early Childhood Development
Giving each and every South African child the best start in life is UNICEF’s priority in making sure that children grow up to be productive members of society. This means ensuring that children are in good health, eat nutritiously, play, learn and are protected from abuse, exploitation and discrimination.
We work with the Government and civil society to develop early childhood development policies and programmes that create a foundation of support for children, their caregivers and the community.
UNICEF is working with the Departments of Social Development, Education and Health to develop early childhood programmes into community resources for poor and vulnerable young children and their families. Family facilitators conduct home visits to help families and children with their applications for social grants and birth certificates, provide health information and link families to healthcare services. A national parenting programme is in place to train parents and caregivers in key family practices such as infant feeding, child health, early stimulation, child development and child abuse prevention.
You Can Make A Difference
Our goal for 2010 is to expand our support to integrated early childhood development programmes at household and community level to reach the most vulnerable children and train and support parents and caregivers in parenting skills.