The first six years of life are the most important. What children learn during this period – how they are treated, what they experience – influences health and future success. In order to guarantee that all children develop properly and start life with equal opportunities, some need support during these crucial early years – for body and mind; in kindergarten and at home.
Parents are the key to successfully providing this support. Families that struggle with poverty find it hard to give their children a good start in life. The Human Safety Net works with local partners across Germany to help parents in difficult or precarious life situations provide the support and experiences their children need during these early years. This is accomplished by organizing courses for parents that have the same structure across the country: two-hour lessons that run for twenty weeks, each one structured identically.
These courses help parents strengthen their roles as mothers and fathers. They help parents network with one other, reducing social isolation, creating an environment that helps them build closer ties with their children.
The Human Safety Net also participates in programs for disadvantaged families that conduct home visits with parents and their children. The focus is on play as a key for healthy childhood development. For 20 weeks, professional play agents from local institutions visit homes once a week, spending approximately two hours with the family, advising, instructing and teaching them about the importance these activities have in the lives and future development of their children.