Ireland is now officially one of the top places in the world to raise a child.
Safety, wellbeing and quality of life were all factors in a study which examined stats from almost 200 countries.
“Save the Children’s new global report, 2017 End of Childhood Report: Stolen Childhoods, examines “childhood enders”– events and factors that rob children of their childhoods, such as child marriage, infant mortality, extreme violence and displacement by war or conflict.”
Out of the 173 countries which were examined, Ireland was ranked 7th. The conclusion was that Ireland is one of the small number of countries in which ‘few children at risk of missing out on childhood’.
The result means that Ireland is now ranked ahead of the United Kingdom (which came in at 22nd) and the USA (36th). Slovenia and Norway came out on top. This comes only a few months after a similar survey by UNICEF also ranked Ireland as the 7th best location to raise a child.
Perhaps it’s the focus on family and community which exists in Ireland, along with the general safety aspects which allowed the country to excel in this study.
There is a great movement in Ireland now which is bringing children back to the roots of what it means to simply be a child.
‘Free range’ childhoods are now being promoted by a number of pre-schools and Montessori organisations. As well as achieving all of the academic requirements that all kids need, there is an added emphasis on ‘getting out there’ and doing all the things that many of us remember enjoying as a child. Maybe it’s playing in the woods (something that has been shown to have many benefits for both young and old), splashing in puddles or exploring the local flora and fauna, these opportunities are becoming more popular in many areas of the country.
In more rural areas, a range of new educational systems, such as the Educate Together schools, have allowed a new breed of junior scholars to flourish.
The top 10 best countries to have a childhood:
1. Norway, Slovenia (tie)
4. Netherlands, Sweden (tie)
8. Iceland, Italy (tie)
10. Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, South Korea (tie)