Essential Component Framework for Child Care and Family Support
Multi-sectoral interventions focusing on children affected by the Zika virus, other congenital malformations and developmental disabilities
To provide the essential conditions and interventions that guarantee a ‘good start in life’ for all young children (especially new-borns, babies and those with developmental disabilities), it is necessary to recognize that families are key actors that provide timely early intervention, offer an early learning environment and create a receptive and protective family environment. Thus families need ongoing guidance and support.
As a result, health services at hospitals and clinics/centres (offering prenatal care, deliveries, neonatal care, maternal and child health, rehabilitation and early intervention) must provide timely and family-focused support and guidance, linked to planning for the family’s/child’s transition back to their community. There must also be home and community-based follow-up and an early intervention plan (child care), with provision of family support. This is based on the recognition that young children with disabilities –like their peers– develop and learn in multiple family and community environments.
Parents can utilize daily family routines and community activities to promote their child’s integration.
As a first step, the UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean developed this ‘Essential Components Framework’ (ECF) for UNICEF Country Offices and partners, to guide planning and coordination processes and to advance child care and family support interventions, from a dual perspective: the life course and multi-sectoral and multi-level linkages.