International Council of Nurses joins CEPPs Global Initiative to improve early childhood development

Geneva, Switzerland; 25 June 2018 -The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Childhood and Early Parenting Principles (CEPPs) Global Initiative to this collaborative worldwide network to actively promote a multi-sector approach to Early Childhood Development (ECD) by organisations and governments at all levels.

Professor Thomas Kearns, ICN’s Interim Chief Executive Officer stated, “Nursing practices and knowledge contribute greatly to development in early childhood.  From pre-natal care, maternal education, improving access to care, education, health promotion and disease prevention, nurses are a critical part of maternal and child health and early childhood development.” 

As part of the Global Initiative, ICN will work to collect and expand the knowledge base of scientific evidence and best practice in maternal and perinatal health and early childhood development and to share this knowledge freely between countries across the world; join forces with other health professionals, educational institutions and organisations involved in the field, to speak with one voice and be heard by policy makers at the highest level; raise community awareness worldwide of the transformative potential of supporting maternal health and early childhood development for societies in the future, thereby empowering communities to become a force for action by policy makers; and to provide capacity for professional education and a continuum-of-care for mothers and infants during the critical period.

The CEPPs Mother and Child Manifesto proposes seven principles, providing a common policy framework for multi-sector and multi-stakeholder partnerships between government, private sector, civil society and professional organisations at local and national levels


Principle 1: Provide leadership for Early Parenting and Early Childhood Development at local, regional and national government levels.


Principle 2: Promote partnerships between government, non-government and civil society organisations.


Principle 3: Publish a local, regional or national Childhood and Early Parenting Policy, ensuring universal access and respecting cultural diversity and the voices of women and men.


Principle 4: Establish infrastructure and capacity for education and the delivery of care.


Principle 5: Promote best practices in education and the delivery of care, for mothers and professionals.


Principle 6: Adopt a multi-sector approach ensuring a continuum-of-care in the delivery of physical, emotional and mental health services and early childhood care. 


Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on targets and achievements in relation to Early Parenting and Early Childhood Development.


ICN is delighted to join with the International Confederation of Midwives(ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and many other organization to support this initiative and advance its principles.


Maternal and child health is a key part of ICN’s work.  ICN recently released a joint statement on the Definition of skilled health personnel providing care during childbirth in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the International Pediatrics Association (IPA).  In 2017, ICN, FIGO, ICM and IPA published a joint report on the global burden of maternal, newborn and young child deaths and launch the Together We Can campaign to tackle it.