The Government recently released the early years review titled, “The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days.” The review, led by Early Years Health Adviser Andrea Leadsom MP, underlines a vision for best practice that the health system can undertake so that babies and children get the best possible beginning.
According to the official publication, the first 1,001 days are critical for a baby as it lays the foundation for lasting physical and emotional wellbeing. It is the experiences during this stage that creates a substantial impact on their health and welfare.
The Government understands that those children who live in households with the lowest socio-economic groups face worse health outcomes than other children. The reasons behind this are assumed to be stress, smoking during pregnancy, and miscommunication due to language inequalities.
The best possible solution is to provide families with their children’s data to share with professionals when needed. To make it possible, the Government has tied up with the NHSX and is discussing with parents to create a digital personal child health record called the red book. It contains details and information about a baby’s growth and development.
As a young parent, how you bring up your child during the early 1,001 days can make a significant difference. Here, communication skills play a critical role as the sooner you start, the sooner they learn how to communicate with their friends and teachers when they start school. It will give them confidence and decrease their anxiety.
Tiny Happy People understands this requirement and helps young parents and caregivers develop their child’s language and communication skill. They show parents how and why to bond with their child before they are born and through their early life. Using fun activities and ideas backed by expert advice and evidence, Tiny Happy People can help you develop your child’s early development.
Talking about the review, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said, “I believe in the value that every single person has to offer, and I want every child to reach their full potential.” He further added, “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 – and we’re already making a start by bringing forward our commitment to disguise the red book by April 2023.”
The action areas
‘The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days’ mentions a baby’s needs and narrates six action areas to assist busy parents and carers:
- Seamless support for families: Local authorities to publish a Start for Life offer for parents in the area. It will bring awareness among the parents and carers about the support available in their areas like health visits and other localised and specialist services.
- A welcoming hub for families: The Government intends to create family hubs where families can access Start for Life services like childcare, healthcare and early education, etc.
- The information families need when they need it: developing virtual, digital, and telephone services supporting the family’s needs. It includes creating a digital copy of the personal child health record or the ‘red book.’
- An empowered Start for Life workforce: the Government intends to create a skilled workforce that caters to families’ needs with babies.
- Continually improving the Start for Life offer: upgrading data, assessment, and results so that health services for families and babies meet a family’s needs.
- Leadership for change: to make sure local and national leaders are accountable while the review delivery is supervised at the national level.
The Government has a dedicated program that will benefit children across the country. However, the challenge it poses is humongous. While the work on its implementation will start soon, the goal to provide the best support during the 1,001 days requires support at all government levels.