UNICEF data – fathers not spending time with children

By Benjamin Jumbe

New data from the UN Children’s Fund shows that more than half of all children aged 3 to 4, are missing out on early-learning activities with their fathers.

The new analysis is drawn from UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, covering 74 countries, published just ahead of Father’s Day, which will be marked in 80 countries tomorrow (Sunday).

Approximately 40 million youngsters in the 3 to 4 age group, or 55 per cent of those surveyed, are deprived of playtime or educational engagement with their fathers.

UNICEF’s Director of Data, Laurence Chandy, says the number reveals that “fathers are struggling to play an active role in their children’s early years.

In order to encourage more fathers to play an active role, UNICEF is inviting families to post photos and videos of what it takes to be so-called “super dads”, using the hashtag #EarlyMomentsMatter, on their Instagram and Twitter accounts.

The agency is also urging governments and the private sector to increase spending on early childhood development programmes that encourage parental involvement.