UNICEF Ukraine calls the Government to revamp the “baby box” as a universal programme for newborn children in Ukraine
Following the recent decision to substitute ‘baby boxes’ with monetary support, UNICEF Ukraine is encouraging the Government to keep the Baby Box Initiative as critical childcare support for families with children. UNICEF research shows that parents in Ukraine prefer to receive in-kind support.
Baby Boxes provide a combination of essential goods needed to care for a child during the first, most critical days of life, as well as educational materials for young parents on topics such as early child care, vaccination and breastfeeding. In addition to its positive impact on the wellbeing of the youngest Ukrainians, the Baby Box Programme is intended to promote good parenting and reduce the stress of preparing for a newborn. The crucial thing is that the Baby Box has been a universal programme for all, regardless of their socioeconomic background.
Over the past two years, UNICEF has systematically collected feedback from parents on the Baby Box Programme. Based on the suggestions, the Ministry of Social Policy had continuously improved its content. In two years, the number of items in the package increased by 250 per cent. While in 2018 only 35 per cent of parents preferred the package over a cash payment, now 8 out of 10 families want to receive in-kind support.
UNICEF analytics proves the significant economic effect of the Programme. At retail price, the goods in a Baby Box will cost the parents 50-200 per cent more.
According to the recent UNICEF survey, 79 per cent of beneficiaries confirmed that the Programme had had a positive impact on their budget. Almost half of the respondents saved significantly on goods for newborns.
Parents who received Baby Boxes recognize the benefits of the Programme and the quality of the Baby Box’s content. On average, items from the baby's package are evaluated at 4.8 points out of 5 possible. More than half of the recipients consider the contents of the Baby Box sufficient and exhaustive.
“We urge the Government to continue the Baby Box Programme, which supports all newborns in Ukraine. The majority of parents support this initiative and its impact on their daily lives,” highlighted UNICEF Ukraine Representative Lotta Sylwander. “In addition, this initiative is an efficient tool to support vulnerable families in these difficult times.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.