Nurturing care is crucial for young children to reach their full potential. It means providing a responsive, safe, and secure environment that ensures good health, adequate nutrition, and opportunities for early learning. Science tells that emotionally supportive and responsive caregivers improve outcomes for children, for example early cognitive development or social skills.
Family-centred and supportive health care policies, programs, and services empower parents and caregivers to provide nurturing care. Additionally, health professionals are seen as trusted practitioners. They have a vast potential to go beyond the traditional focus on physical health and support holistic child development as well as empower caregivers to provide children with the best start in life. As a part of the routine maternal, newborn, and child health care services, health workers can:
• Build the knowledge, skills and competencies of caregivers for nurturing care,
• Monitor the development of the child,
• Identify environmental, relational or biological factors that may affect development, including parental mental health and wellbeing, and
• Facilitate inter-sectoral cooperation and integration in the best interest of children and families.