For parents, knowing whether they are raising their children the “right” way can feel like an impossible task. Parenting programs can make a unique and indispensable contribution to child well-being, and ultimately give children the resilience to thrive, even in challenging circumstances.
The active involvement of both a mother and a father in the upbringing of a child has great social and psychological benefits. Yet, despite legal provisions allowing parents to take time off to look after children, such as parental leave, many men are still reluctant to take it.
Many families in the European Union struggle to balance their professional and domestic responsibilities. Harmony between work and home could be an important way to help children and adults and promote a more prosperous society at large. More action could be taken to support work-life balance for working parents.
India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which prioritizes female participation, increased newborn mortality among women eligible to participate. Work-related stresses adversely affect fetal health; however maternal work participation may have positive income effects for older children.
There is tremendous variability across New Hampshire communities in the extent to which the state's youngest children and their families face risks and stressors that can compromise healthy child development.
Fathers' involvement in child care has considerable benefits for their children, mothers, employers, and themselves. Paternity and parental leave are important, but pay, flexibility, and eligibility remain significant barriers to uptake by fathers across Europe.
It costs billions of dollars each year to investigate child abuse reports, counsel and support families, and provide foster homes for kids at risk. A greater focus on preventing abuse and neglect, and on placing children with relatives rather than strangers, could improve thousands of young lives.
The most comprehensive look to date at the benefits of early childhood education found that 102 of 115 programs improved at least one outcome for children beyond a statistical doubt. And the economic and social benefits continue to pay dividends, sometimes well into adulthood.
An updated comprehensive review of rigorous evaluations of early childhood programs confirms and strengthens RAND researchers' findings from previous syntheses showing that many early childhood programs can improve a range of outcomes for children.
A review of 115 early childhood interventions — including preschool, home visiting, parent education, and other approaches — finds that most programs have favorable effects on at least one child outcome. And most of the programs with benefit–cost analyses show positive returns.
Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life. This provides health benefits to both mother and child and saves health care costs. Paid maternity leave can boost breastfeeding rates, but few U.S. firms offer it.
To make an informed choice about schools, parents need to know about the quality of instruction, services, and the overall school climate. Schools need a better system of measuring and collecting data on performance, and a way to make it accessible to families.
Long deployments can increase the risk for negative adolescent and parental outcomes, relative to short or no deployment; military fathers and adolescent boys may be more strongly affected than military mothers and adolescent girls.
A number of interlocking factors affect uptake of leave by fathers, including compensation, the availability of affordable childcare, the flexibility of leave arrangements, gender norms, and cultural expectations.
Whether fathers take parental leave depends on economic factors, but flexibility of timing and workplace culture also seem to make a difference. The link between fathers taking parental leave and improvements in child development makes it an important area for European policymakers to consider.