Improving early childhood development: WHO guideline

Improving early childhood development: WHO guideline

Improving early childhood development: WHO guideline


Enabling young children to achieve their full developmental potential is a human right and an essential requisite for sustainable development. Given the critical importance of enabling children to make the best start in life,  the health sector, among other sectors, has an important role and responsibility to support nurturing care for early childhood development.This guideline provides direction for strengthening policies and programmes to better address early childhood development.

It is primarily the family who provides the nurturing care that children need to develop in the earliest years.  Many parents and other caregivers need support to put this into practice. Therefore, the guideline contains four recommendations aimed at caregivers, health professionals and other workers who can assist them, as well as policy-makers and other stakeholders. The recommendations relate to i) providing responsive care and activities for early learning during the first 3 years of life; ii) including responsive care and early learning as part of interventions for optimal nutrition of infants and young children; and iii) integrating psychosocial interventions to support maternal mental health into early childhood health and development service.

Please click here to download the report.

Related downloads

Guideline on improving early childhood development: summary

Guideline on improving early childhood development: evidence reviews

Caregiving Interventions to Support Early Child Development in the First Three Years of Life: Report of a Systematic Review of Evidence

Psychotherapeutic interventions for common maternal mental health problems among women to improve early childhood development in low and middle income countries: Report of systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs

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