How babies can get 'the best start in life'
Latest recommendations to help all parents and carers give babies the best start they can
Health Secretary Matt Hancock and former cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, the names behind The Early Years Healthy Development Review set up to speak to parents, carers, professionals and volunteers across the country, have announced their latest recommendations.
Following on from their vision last year to support every family in giving their baby the best start in life, they have shared ‘the first 1,001 days, a critical time in our development.’
Supported by leading health experts, the vision explains how the care given in the first 1,001 days of a baby’s life is vital for shaping babies’ lifelong emotional and physical health.
Brain connections for babies in the first 18 months of life are said to be created at a rate of a million per second meaning these early months lay the foundations for resilience, adaptability and development which helps create their future health, wellbeing, learning and even their earning potential.
Despite the majority of babies receiving loving care from parents and carers, the new vision suggests the toll of a new arrival being exhausting and challenging, means parents and carers require more support to ensure babies fulfil their potential in life. The more secure babies are in these early months is said to influence the adults they become and how they cope with the ups and downs of life, their ability to build stronger relationships at home and work as well as raising their own children.
The Early Years Health Development Review is designed to support all families across the country. The review offers six action areas to ensure families are able to access services they need.
- Encouraging all local authorities to publish clear Start for Life services and support
- Supporting Family Hubs – a place for families to access advice/support including Start for Life services
- Designing digital, virtual and telephone services for families including digitalising the Personal Child Health Record (previously the Red Book)
- Developing a skilled and integrated Start for Life workforce
- Continue work across the whole Start for Life system to ensure every parent/carer receives the best support
- Ask local areas to nominate a designated Leader of Change – to ensure accountability to ensure changes are made