New campaign in the Netherlands celebrates parents

Published October 6, 2021

An awareness-raising campaign about the importance of a child’s first 1,000 days, Ode to all parents, launched this week in the Netherlands. This period – approximately from a child’s conception to their second birthday – is crucial for lifelong physical, mental and social health.

The campaign aims to celebrate parents of young children, and lower the threshold for giving and receiving support. Research finds that the vast majority of parents in the Netherlands say parenting is both a difficult task (91%) and one that makes them proud (96%). More than half feel insecure about their parenting, and two-thirds are reluctant to ask for help when they need it.

Professor Tessa Roseboom, Professor of Early Development and Health at the University of Amsterdam, says: “If you, as a parent or carer, experience support and are appreciated, then it helps you to take good care of your child… It is important for parents and caregivers to feel that they are not alone.”

The campaign is part of the Gezonde Generatie (Healthy Generation) project, which aims make Dutch youth the healthiest in the world by 2040, and we are funding it together with Noaber Foundation and the Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen (21 Collaborating Health Funds).

Michael Rutgers, chairman of the Collaborative Health Funds, says: “At the moment people have a high chance of developing a chronic illness during their life. We can lower the risk by giving children a healthy start, and the role of parents and caregivers is crucial… We should all ask ourselves: ‘how can we help parents to keep children as healthy as possible growing up?’”