Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone announced a ‘baby-boom’ strategy which will support new parents in Ireland. The high-level task force headed by Minister Zappone, will examine a range of new policies to encourage families to have more children.
Currently, the average amount of children per family in Ireland is 1.4 according to the 2011 census. Though Ireland has the highest birth-rate in Europe, there are concerns over fertility rates, and the number of children per family.
Taking inspiration from our Scandinavian neighbours, the government plans to roll-out baby boxes for new parents. As we’ve seen before, the box will contain basic items needed to care for your newborn baby, while also doubling up as a crib. Equipment included are:
- a blanket
- outdoor clothing
- bathing products
- educational books for the parents.
The idea was first introduced in Finland in the 1930s and is credited with significantly reducing infant mortality rates. Baby boxes are now also given to new parents in Scotland.
National Early Years Strategy
The roll-out of baby-boxes and the further studies that will be undertaken by the National Early Years Strategy will focus mainly on children from zero to five years of age. Minister Zappone said to The Independent today, “The arrival of a new baby should be a time of joy for every family – now in Government we are going to work together to ensure everyone has a chance to make the most of these very exciting time parents share with their infants.”
It is hoped the commitments outlined in the strategy will also make things easier for families with young children.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to getting a baby box when your newborn comes along?