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Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being
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Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being

Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? Data show that a nation’s wealth does not guarantee a healthy environment. Far too many children are deprived of a healthy home, irreversibly damaging their current and future well-being. Beyond children’s immediate environments, over-consumption in some of the world’s richest countries is destroying children’s environments globally. This threatens both children worldwide and future generations. To provide all children with safe and healthy environments, governments, policymakers, businesses and all stakeholders are called to act on a set of policy recommendations.
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Where Do Rich Countries Stand on Childcare?
Where Do Rich Countries Stand on Childcare?
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Even before COVID-19, some of the world’s richest countries were failing to offer comprehensive childcare solutions to all families. In some instances, this reflected their policy priorities rather than available resources. The COVID-19 pandemic also challenged children’s education, care and well-being as parents struggled to balance their responsibilities for childcare and employment, with a disproportionate burden placed on women. In the context of lockdown and school closures, childcare was one of the worst affected family services and had a significant knock-on effect.

This report shows how governments can help parents through paid parental leave, followed by affordable and high-quality childcare. Using the most recent comparable data, it assesses the parental leave and childcare policies in the 41 high-income countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the European Union (EU). The report concludes with nine recommendations for how policies can be improved to provide comprehensive solutions to all families.

Quality of Childcare and Pre-Primary Education: How do we measure it?
Quality of Childcare and Pre-Primary Education: How do we measure it?

AUTHOR(S)
Zlata Bruckauf; Nóirín Hayes

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Early childhood development is a driving force for sustainable development due to its multiplier effects not only on children but also on the community and society at large. Access to ECEC alone is insufficient for achieving positive child outcomes – it must also be of high quality. This Brief aims to summarize the key points of ongoing debate on this issue, and outline some of the challenges faced by high-income countries. A step towards a more holistic monitoring of ECEC would be to develop a coherent national strategy that recognizes diversity while addressing disparities; to respond to the needs of both child and family through strong partnerships with parents and ECE practitioners; and to apply measurement tools that capture a child’s engagement rather than test readiness.

The Child Care Transition: A league table of early childhood education and care in economically advanced countries
The Child Care Transition: A league table of early childhood education and care in economically advanced countries

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
A great change is coming over childhood in the world's richest countries. Today's rising generation is the first in which a majority are spending a large part of early childhood in some form of out-of-home child care. At the same time, neuroscientific research is demonstrating that loving, stable, secure, and stimulating relationships with caregivers in the earliest months and years of life are critical for every aspect of a child’s development. Taken together, these two developments confront public and policymakers in OECD countries with urgent questions. Whether the child care transition will represent an advance or a setback for today's children and tomorrow's world will depend on the response.
La transition en cours dans la garde et l’éducation de l’enfant. Tableau de classement des services de garde et d’éducation des jeunes enfants dans les pays économiquement avancés
La transition en cours dans la garde et l’éducation de l’enfant. Tableau de classement des services de garde et d’éducation des jeunes enfants dans les pays économiquement avancés

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
La génération montante d’aujourd’hui est la première dont la majorité passe une grande partie de la petite enfance dans un type de structure de garde extérieure au foyer. Parallèlement, la recherche neuroscientifique démontre l’importance capitale, pour tous les aspects du développement de l’enfant, de l’établissement de rapports aimants, stables, sécurisants et stimulants avec les personnes qui s’occupent d’enfants au cours des premiers mois et années. Considérés ensemble, ces deux éléments obligent l’opinion publique et les décideurs politiques de l’OCDE à faire face à des questions pressantes. C’est en fonction de leurs réponses que la transition en cours dans la garde et l’éducation de l’enfant se traduira, pour les enfants d’aujourd’hui et ceux de demain, par une avancée ou un revers.
Come cambia la cura dell’infanzia. Un quadro comparativo dei servizi educativi e della cura per la prima infanzia nei paesi economicamente avanzati
Come cambia la cura dell’infanzia. Un quadro comparativo dei servizi educativi e della cura per la prima infanzia nei paesi economicamente avanzati

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
Un grande cambiamento è in corso per l’infanzia nei paesi più ricchi del mondo. La maggioranza della generazione adesso in fase di crescita è la prima a trascorrere gran parte della prima infanzia in strutture che se ne prendono cura fuori della propria casa. Allo stesso tempo, la ricerca sulle neuroscienze dimostra che un rapporto amorevole, stabile, sicuro e stimolante con le persone che si prendono cura del bambino nei primi mesi e anni di vita è fondamentale per ogni aspetto del suo sviluppo. Questi due fattori pongono domande urgenti alla opinione pubblica e ai responsabili delle politiche dei paesi OCSE. Se il cambiamento nella cura dei bambini rappresenterà un progresso o un’involuzione per i bambini di oggi e il mondo di domani dipenderà dalla risposta a tali domande.
A transição dos cuidados na primeira infância. Uma tabela classificativa dos serviços de educação e cuidados na primeira infância nos países economicamente desenvolvidos
A transição dos cuidados na primeira infância. Uma tabela classificativa dos serviços de educação e cuidados na primeira infância nos países economicamente desenvolvidos

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
A geração actualmente em formação é a primeira em que uma maioria passa grande parte da primeira infância em alguma estrutura de cuidados for a de casa. Ao mesmo tempo, as investigações da neurociência estão a demonstrar que as relações afectuosas, estáveis, seguras e estimulantes com as pessoas que cuidam da criança nos primeiros meses e anos de vida são cruciais para todos os aspectos do seu desenvolvimento. Considerados em conjunto, estes dois desenvolvimentos confrontam o público e os autores das políticas dos países da OCDE com questões urgentes. Saber se a transição para os cuidados for a de casa irá representar um avanço ou um recuo – para as crianças de hoje em dia e para o mundo de amanhã – dependerá das respostas a essas questões.
El cuidado infantil en los países industrializados: transición y cambio. Una tabla clasificatoria de la educación y los cuidados durante la primera infancia en los países económicamente avanzados
El cuidado infantil en los países industrializados: transición y cambio. Una tabla clasificatoria de la educación y los cuidados durante la primera infancia en los países económicamente avanzados

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
Se está gestando un gran cambio en la infancia en los países más ricos del mundo. La generación de hoy en día es la primera en la que la mayoría recibe durante gran parte de la primera infancia algún tipo de cuidado infantil fuera del hogar. Al mismo tiempo, las investigaciones neurocientíficas están demostrando que las relaciones afectuosas, estables, seguras y estimulantes con los cuidadores durante los primeros meses y años de vida son esenciales para todos los aspectos del desarrollo del niño. Conjuntamente, estos dos avances plantean cuestiones urgentes al público y a los políticos en los países de la OCDE. Dependiendo de la respuesta que se les dé, la transición en el cuidado infantil representará un avance o un revés para los niños de hoy en día y el mundo de mañana.
Benchmarks for Early Childhood Services in OECD Countries
Benchmarks for Early Childhood Services in OECD Countries

AUTHOR(S)
John Bennett

Published: 2008 Innocenti Working Papers
The Innocenti Report Card 8 presents ten benchmarks for early childhood services. It represents a bold first step towards the ultimate goal of improving the lives of young children by enabling international comparisons to be made in the early childhood field, thereby encouraging countries to learn from each other’s experiences. The current paper provides some critical reflections on the challenges involved in establishing the principle of standard-setting in the early childhood field and suggests factors that should command our attention as the principle - as is hoped - becomes established and the process of standard-setting matures.
Overcoming Disparities and Expanding Access to Early Childhood Services in Germany: Policy consideration and funding options
Overcoming Disparities and Expanding Access to Early Childhood Services in Germany: Policy consideration and funding options

AUTHOR(S)
Katharina C. Spiess; Eva M. Berger; Olaf Groh-Samberg

Published: 2008 Innocenti Working Papers
In comparison to the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) systems of many other advanced economies the German system can be characterised as relative uniform, when looking at programmes and providers. But in other ways, there are considerable variations. There are considerate regional differences in governance, funding, and attendance rates, in particular with respect to certain socio-economic groups. This paper describes and evaluates these differences, mainly from an economic perspective and also taking child well-being into account.
Die öffentlich geförderte Bildungs- und Betreuungsinfrastruktur in Deutschland: Eine ökonomische Analyse regionaler und nutzergruppenspezifischer Unterschiede
Die öffentlich geförderte Bildungs- und Betreuungsinfrastruktur in Deutschland: Eine ökonomische Analyse regionaler und nutzergruppenspezifischer Unterschiede

AUTHOR(S)
Katharina C. Spiess; Eva M. Berger; Olaf Groh-Samberg

Published: 2008 Innocenti Working Papers
Betreuung und Bildung in der frühen Kindheit war lange Zeit im Westen Deutschlands ein Thema, das wenig Aufmerksamkeit fand. Weithin herrschte die Vorstellung, dass Kleinkinder zu Hause versorgt werden sollten. Aufgrund von Warnungen, die von Kinderärzten und Bindungsforschern kamen, wurden junge Kinder nur in dringenden Fällen in Krippen oder von Tagesmüttern betreut. Eltern, die solche Einrichtungen in Anspruch nahmen, hatten oft ein schlechtes Gewissen.
De transitie naar kinderopvang en onderwijs: Een boordtabel over kinderopvang en onderwijs voor kinderen jonger dan 6 jaar in rijke landen
De transitie naar kinderopvang en onderwijs: Een boordtabel over kinderopvang en onderwijs voor kinderen jonger dan 6 jaar in rijke landen

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
De generatie die nu opgroeit, is de eerste waarvan een meerderheid een groot deel van haar vroegste kindertijd doorbrengt in een of andere vorm van kinderopvang buitenshuis. Tegelijkertijd toont neurowetenschappelijk onderzoek aan dat liefdevolle, stabiele, veilige en stimulerende relaties met verzorgers tijdens de eerste levensmaanden en jaren cruciaal zijn voor alle aspecten in de ontwikkeling van een kind. De combinatie van deze twee ontwikkelingen confronteert de samenleving en de beleidsmakers in de OESO-landen met een aantal dringende vragen. Wordt deze overgang naar kinderopvang en onderwijs een vooruitgang dan wel een achteruitgang voor de kinderen van vandaag en voor de wereld van morgen? Veel zal afhangen van hoe op deze vragen zal worden ingespeeld
Child Institutionalization and Child Protection in Central and Eastern Europe
Child Institutionalization and Child Protection in Central and Eastern Europe

AUTHOR(S)
Mary Anne Burke

This paper looks at how the transition from the planned to the free market economy has altered the nature of state protective child care provision in Central and Eastern Europe. The old systems were run according to an underlying state ideology that stressed an insensitive ‘medical model’ of care. This ‘treatment’ was often a worse fate than the deprived contexts from which the children had been removed. But matters have little improved since the collapse of the old regimes. The economic, political, moral and spiritual ramifications of the rapid transition have led to further social unravelling. And children have borne the brunt of its effects.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 58 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child care services, child protection, economic transition | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being
Publication

Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being

Digital experiences can have significant negative impact on children, exposing them to risks or failing to nurture them adequately. Nevertheless, digital experiences also potentially yield enormous benefits for children, enabling them to learn, to create, to develop friendships, and to build worlds. While global efforts to deepen our understanding of the prevalence and impact of digital risks of harm are burgeoning – a development that is both welcome and necessary – less attention has been paid to understanding and optimizing the benefits that digital technology can provide in supporting children’s rights and their well-being. Benefits here refer not only to the absence of harm, but also to creating additional positive value. How should we recognize the opportunities and benefits of digital technology for children’s well-being? What is the relationship between the design of digital experiences – in particular, play-centred design – and the well-being of children? What guidance and measures can we use to strengthen the design of digital environments to promote positive outcomes for children? And how can we make sure that children’s insights and needs form the foundation of our work in this space? These questions matter for all those who design and promote digital experiences, to keep children safe and happy, and enable positive development and learning. These questions are particularly relevant as the world shifts its attention to emerging digital technologies and experiences, from artificial intelligence (AI) to the metaverse, and seeks to understand their impact on people and society. To begin to tackle these questions, UNICEF and the LEGO Group initiated the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project in partnership with the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University; the CREATE Lab at New York University; the Graduate Center, City University of New York; the University of Sheffield; the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. The research is funded by the LEGO Foundation. The partnership is an international, multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration between organizations that believe the design and development of digital technology should support the rights and well-being of children as a primary objective – and that children should have a prominent voice in making this a reality. This project’s primary objective is to develop, with children from around the world, a framework that maps how the design of children’s digital experiences affects their well-being, and to provide guidance as to how informed design choices can promote positive well-being outcomes.
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Publication

Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
Annual Report 2021
Publication

Annual Report 2021

The UNICEF Innocenti Annual Report 2021 highlights the key results achieved in research and evidence to inform policymaking and programming.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

When schools started closing their doors due to COVID-19, countries in Europe and Central Asia quickly provided alternative learning solutions for children to continue learning. More than 90 per cent of countries offered digital solutions to ensure that education activities could continue. However, lack of access to digital devices and a reliable internet connection excluded a significant amount of already marginalized children and threatened to widen the existing learning disparities. This report builds on existing evidence highlighting key lessons learned during the pandemic to promote learning for all during school closure and provides actionable policy recommendations on how to bridge the digital divide and build resilient education systems in Europe and Central Asia.

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