Sweden & Norway top list of ‘family-friendly’ nations

Sweden & Norway top list of ‘family-friendly’ nations

Agency News

United Nations, June 14: UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has revealed its latest rankings for countries which practice the most family-friendly policies; seen as critical to fostering childhood development.

According to a UN news report, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal top the list, among the 31 rich, mainly European nations, where data is available, according to a new UNICEF report. Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, the United Kingdom and Ireland rank the lowest.

The policies seen as most effective, include paying parental leave at the equivalent of a full salary, and the State provision of childcare services for children up to the age of six. The report is part of UNICEF’s early childhood development policy and programming, and the Early Moments Matter campaign.

“There is no time more critical to children’s brain development – and therefore their futures – than the earliest years of life,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

“We need governments to help provide parents with the support they need to create a nurturing environment for their young children,” she added. (UNI)