I believe in the value that every single person has to offer, and I want every child to reach their full potential.
Everybody should have a solid foundation on which to build their health and we are determined to level up the opportunities for children, no matter their background or where they grow up.
I want to thank Andrea Leadsom for this inspirational and important report. Through her ‘action areas’, we will reduce the barriers and improve early childhood experiences.
As part of the government’s determination to level up across the country, it’s crucial to ensure the youngest members of society – and the families who nurture and care for them – are given the help and support they need to ensure they can fulfil their potential in future.
To achieve this, the review highlights six action areas which are key to improving health outcomes in babies and young children:
- seamless support for families: local authorities will be encouraged to publish a clear Start for Life offer for parents in their area – a single publication making parents and carers aware of what support they can expect in their local area, including services they should expect to receive like health visits, and localised and specialist services, such as help to quit smoking and intensive parenting support.
- a welcoming hub for families: this builds on the government’s commitment to champion family hubs, making them a place for families to access Start for Life services, such as childcare, early education and healthcare, as well as advice on jobs and training.
- the information families need when they need it: designing digital, virtual and telephone services around the needs of the family, including digitising the personal child health record, commonly known as the ‘red book’.
- an empowered Start for Life workforce: developing a modern skilled workforce to meet the changing needs of families with babies, looking at new ways to support and empower staff to increase retention of health visitors.
- continually improving the Start for Life offer: health services for families and babies must improve data, evaluation and outcomes to ensure they are meeting a family’s needs. Work will continue across the system to hold local services to account, including through proportionate inspections, giving parents and carers confidence and assurance that services are working in their area.
- leadership for change: work will begin to encourage local areas to nominate a leader and to ensure the delivery of the review is overseen at a national level.
At Kids Matter, we fully back an early intervention policy that supports families before a baby is born, focusing on strengthening the relationship between parents and equipping mums- and dads-to-be with confidence, competence and community giving children the best start in life. We are so pleased that baby is at the centre of these changed.
Tim Loughton MP used a great analogy: there is no stigma going to the gym to get fitter, so why is there stigma in getting support to be a better parent!
Kids Matter is a programme that engages with families and young children before crisis point – it strengthens families by giving mums and dads the tools to be competent, confident parents or caregivers. To get involved, as a volunteer or by financially supporting our programme, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org