By Asma’u Ahmad
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has recommended six months paid maternity leave and four weeks paid paternity leave to ensure healthy development of young children.
UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Mohammed Fall disclosed this at the National Early Childhood Development conference (ECD) in Abuja with the theme; “Investing early in Nigerian children.”
He said that Nigeria currently has three months paid maternity leave, only one year free pre- education and no paternity leave.
The representative emphasised that based on the 2016 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, the key indicators of child development remain low in ally.
He said: “Only about 40 per cent of children within the ages of 36 to 59 months are attending an organised early childhood education programme, while more than 31 per cent of children under the age of five are moderately and severely underweight.
“Yet research in the Lancet series 2016 shows that early childhood education programme is a foundation for health, productivity, learning and social cohesion.”
Fall noted that the conference was aimed at creating awareness on the meaning and importance of the early years of a child from conception to five years in early childhood nutrition, education and development.
Newsmen report that the highlight of the conference was the inauguration of UNICEF report on Early Moments Matter for Early Child.