The report “The power of caregiving” was launched by SOS Norway on February 15th. The report addresses how to support early childhood and mental health through parents and caregivers, focusing on low- and middle-income countries, and sub-Saharan Africa primarily.
This was a desk study that reviewed a large body of research and reports on mental health, early childhood development (ECD), and parenting programmes in LMICs. The overall evidence suggests that interventions that provide holistic support in several domains have best effect, although these may be more expensive and demand more cooperation. Where possible, one should build on existing preventive and promotive structures and systems, such as integrating nurturing care components into strategies for e.g., maternal health, education, humanitarian, and non-communicable disease policies – ensuring multi-sectorial efforts and a holistic approach. The mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of parents is important for ECD, but may need more particular attention in programmes. There seems to be a potential for a better link between the two in programmes to support ECD and mental health.