The Multigenerational Approach: Serving Children's Support Networks
The World Bank has released a new report entitled: Stepping up Early Childhood Development. Education advocates all over the world talk about the importance of investing in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and that it is "essential for a child’s growth and development. The returns to those interventions also tend to be higher than the returns to investments in human capital taking place later in life." But more people are pushing for multigenerational approaches to ECD - to best support children, their support networks must also be empowered.
The report explains that "the wellbeing and involvement of families play a critical role in addressing children’s holistic development needs because young children depend entirely on their families and spend the most time with them in the home environment." But how can organizations provide support to children through multigenerational interventions? The World Bank report shares these four of many ways we can approach families:
- Maternal Education: When females attain high levels of education, it benefits their future children when they become mothers. Educated women are able to make smart decisions about their lives and in the lives of their children.
- Family Planning: According to the World Health Organization, a woman’s ability to space and limit her pregnancies has a direct impact on her health and well-being as well as on the outcome of each pregnancy.
- Education on Child Development: Reaching parents through parenting support programs and home-visits can promote early stimulation, optimal caregiving, and healthy feeding practices and thereby improve outcomes for children. These programs can deliver messages to parents about the health, growth, and overall development of young children.
- Prevention and Treatment of Parental Depression: When parents are depressed, it is likely to have adverse effects on ECD and quality of parenting and therefore treatment of parental depression is important. This is especially prevalent for populations who face regular trauma.
TYO's multigenerational approach targeting children, youth and parents - makes it one of the most unique centers in the Northern West Bank, tackling these issues head-on in Palestine. The Core Child Program for early childhood education, The Women's Group for mothers, and the TYO model for family intervention ensure that TYO can meet the needs of children and their support networks.