Are the world’s richest countries family friendly?
Policy in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union countries
Children get a better start in life and parents are better able to balance work and home commitments in countries that have family-friendly policies – paid parental leave, support for breastfeeding and affordable, high-quality childcare and preschool education.
This report looks at family-friendly policies in 41 high- and middle-income countries using four country-level indicators: the duration of paid leave available to mothers; the duration of paid leave reserved specifically for fathers; the share of children below the age of 3 in childcare centres; and the share of children between the age of 3 and compulsory school age in childcare or preschool centres.
The report highlights that
- Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal offer the best family-friendly policies among 31 rich countries with available data.
- Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Ireland rank the lowest.
UNICEF is advocating for
- At least six months of leave for all parents.
- Safe and comfortable public and work-based places for women to breastfeed.
- Universal access to quality, affordable childcare from birth to children’s entry into the first grade of school.
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