UNICEF survey: quality preschool education is most important to parents in Europe and Central Asia

Опрос ЮНИСЕФ: для родителей в Европе и Центральной Азии важнее всего качественное дошкольное образование

Nearly three-quarters of UNICEF survey respondents in Europe and Central Asia said they needed more support with parenting. UNICEF survey: quality preschool education is most important to parents in Europe and Central Asia Culture and education

Parents in Europe and Central Asia named quality pre-school education and childcare services, paid leave when a child is ill, increased volume of financial assistance and mental health support.

Parents need support

Almost three-quarters of respondents said they needed more support in parenting, but only half of parents were able to get it. Most parents sought support from friends, family, neighbours, and UNICEF’s Bebbo parenting app, which provides expert advice on child health and development. Less frequently, parents sought support from NGOs, government, and public services.

Almost 5,000 people from 13 countries in the Europe and Central Asia region took part in the Bebbo survey, which asked parents to identify the most important areas where they needed more support from governments and employers.

Call to Action

“The first years of parenthood can be very challenging, but they provide a unique opportunity to lay a strong foundation for a child’s lifelong development,” says UNICEF Regional Adviser on Early Childhood Development for Europe and Central Asia, Ivelina Borisova. “The survey results are a direct call to action from parents to policymakers and employers to improve support systems to ensure our youngest citizens thrive.”


Ensuring children have the best start in life requires ongoing collaboration across all sectors and sustained support for parenting. In Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF works with governments to improve health, education and social welfare systems, as well as essential services such as home visiting, early childhood education and social benefits, including parental leave.

Vulnerable groups

UNICEF advocates for universal access to parenting support programmes, child benefits and affordable childcare and early education. 

Targeted and enhanced support for parents in difficult situations, including parents of children with disabilities, refugees and those living in poverty, is particularly important.

The role of employers 

Employers play a vital role in creating a family-friendly work environment. UNICEF urges employers to provide flexible working conditions and paid time off for sick children.


The survey surveyed 4,816 parents from countries in the region, including Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Uzbekistan.

Bebbo was launched by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia in 2019 to connect mums and dads with expert advice on all aspects of children’s health and well-being. The app is available in 15 countries and 15 languages, and has been downloaded by more than a million parents.


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