Parents have the biggest influence on a child’s early life, particularly in their first year. The experiences children have during their first year lays the foundation for the rest of their childhood and for the adults they will become. Paid parental leave, shared between both parents, is increasingly recognised as both in the best interests of the child and a social good by policy makers internationally. An ever increasing number of countries are adopting paid parental leave policies which span a child’s first year (and often beyond) giving families the flexibility and support they need at this crucial point in a child’s development. This tidal shift towards shared paid parental leave threatens to leave Ireland behind. Barnardos works with over 14,000 children and their families each year. We work with parents to improve their understanding of their children’s needs and equip them with the knowledge and skills to meet those needs. We see first-hand the positive affect a nurting parent-child relationship can have in a child’s life. Barnardos is calling on the Government to introduce a paid parental leave system for a child’s first year to better
help parents to support their child’s early development.
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