Nurturing care for early childhood development

The Nurturing Care Framework was created in response to strong evidence (see the Lancet Series ) and growing recognition that the early years are critical for human development.

Commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Strategy provide the impetus for countries and stakeholders to act. More than 1000 individuals and organizations from 111 countries informed the drafting process of this framework.

The Framework was developed by WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank, in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the Early Childhood Development Action Network and many other partners.

Investing in early childhood development is one of the best investments a country can make to boost economic growth, promote peaceful and sustainable societies, and eliminate extreme poverty and inequality. Equally important, investing in early childhood development is necessary to uphold the right of every child to survive and thrive.

The Framework provides an evidence-based road map for action and outlines how policies and services can support parents, families, other caregivers and communities in providing nurturing care for young children. It calls for attention to be paid to communities where children are most at risk of being left behind.

Read the Nurturing Care Framework and Executive Summary

Read about and watch the launch event

The five components of nurturing care

To reach their full potential, children need the five inter-related and indivisible components of nurturing care:
good health, adequate nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving and opportunities for learning.

In the first years of life, parents, intimate family members and caregivers are the closest to the young child and thus the best providers of Nurturing Care. This is why secure family environments are important for young children.  In order to provide caregivers with time and resources to provide nurturing care, policies, services and community supports need to be in place.

Open each petal below to read more.

“If we change the beginning of the story,
we change the whole story”

The Beginning of Life