Lockdowns threaten child development – can parenting programmes help? The COVID-19 pandemic has been making life difficult for parents around the world. In these exceptional circumstances, many have struggled to give children the care and education they need. Stuck at home, families from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds have been particularly affected, says Jamie Lachman, an Oxford University researcher who co-founded the Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) initiative, a collaboration between WHO, Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the universities of Oxford, Bangor, and Reading in the United Kingdom, and UNICEF.
Factors such as increased financial stress and cramped living conditions have made it even harder to create a positive home learning environment, he says. “[Parents] are spending more time with their children, and the question is: what’s the quality of that time?”
Ending all violence against children by 2030 is a core part of Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16. A number of promising violence reduction strategies have been identified in research studies. However, we lack an understanding of the implementation and impact of these programs in respect to their delivery at a large scale or within existing service systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).