Cuba, Sep 23 – Cuba is one of 15 countries recognized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) with three essential policies to support young children’s healthy brain development, according to a report by the organization, published September 21.
According to the document entitled Early Moments Matter for Every Child, Cuba is one the few nations which provides “two years of tuition-free pre-primary education; six months of paid breastfeeding breaks; and six months of paid maternity and four weeks of paid paternity leave.”
Such policies help to “lay the foundation for optimal early childhood development,” notes the report, which will be presented when heads of state or government, and senior officials of the UN’s 193 member-states address the issue of inclusive human well-being during its General Assembly sessions.
The 15 countries with three essential national policies that support families with young children include Cuba, Belarus, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Sweden, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.
The report also notes that “around 85 million children under five live in 32 countries that do not offer” such policies, including economic powers like Australia and the United States.
According to the document, “These policies help parents better protect their children and provide them with better nutrition, play and early learning experiences in the crucial first years of life when the brain grows at a rate never to be repeated.”(Granma)