Countries are at different stages of advancing nurturing care with and through health systems. Small and big changes are happening at national and sub-national levels. The information provided on this page gives you a glimpse into what is happening where under each of the five strategic actions.
The number of countries with a national policy or action plan for early childhood development increased by 48% from 2018 to 2023. Many new and revised policies and plans focus on all five components of nurturing care. Efforts are also underway at national and sub-national levels to translate policy commitments for nurturing care into action. Examples.
Many actors at national level have strengthened their advocacy for and engagement with local communities. Through parenting groups, peer support and media outreach, communities have supported caregivers, including men, to provide their children nurturing care, including those with developmental delays or disabilities, affected by HIV and/or living in humanitarian settings. Examples.
Existing services in health, education, protection and other services have been strengthened to address all five components of nurturing care. Central to this is strengthening the capabilities of the frontline workforce and ensuring appropriate job aids, training and supervision are in place so that these workers are effective and motivated to support caregivers. Key content areas include support for responsive caregiving and early learning activities, a focus on the quality of care and attention to caregiver mental health in routine contacts with caregivers, newborns and children. Examples.
The development of two new global measures for population-level assessment of child development (covering birth to 59 months) marks an exciting milestone and provides unique opportunities to systematically examine the variability in child development outcomes, widening the scope to improve equity and inclusion. Profiles for early childhood development have been developed for 197 countries, reporting on a harmonized set of indicators related to nurturing care based on the best available data. Examples.
An extensive research repository documented in peer-reviewed publications provides evidence for effective interventions. Emerging findings from country-wide programmes are helping to translate this evidence base into practice, innovate and scale up services to reach more families and communities, and enable young children to realize their full potential. The COVID-19 pandemic and other crises spurred the creative use of new communication strategies and digital tools for pregnant women and caregivers to ensure they have the information needed to provide their children nurturing care. Examples.