New law in Brazil: big step in supporting parents and young children

Published February 5, 2016

Brazil’s Senate has unanimously passed a new law quadrupling paid leave for new fathers, from five to 20 days, and mandating six months paid leave for new mothers. The law also calls for every city, town and village in Brazil to have a safe public play area for under-3s, and imposes new obligations on the state to be transparent about levels of public investment in early childhood.

Photo by: Ruth Shizue Yamamoto Medeiros

The law follows persistent work by Foundation partners in Brazil to help parliamentarians understand the case for investment in young children, including a Harvard course for public leaders facilitated by the Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal.

We will continue our work towards maximising the effect of the new law: for example, helping fathers to understand how to make best use of their paternity leave; ensuring that data collection on early childhood meets the needs of policy makers; and working to scale home visiting programmes to reach every vulnerable family in Brazil.