Fresh vision for early years

Seamless support and a ‘welcoming hub’ for families are among new proposals for ensuring babies and young children get the best possible start to life.

The Early Years Healthy Development Review, led by government adviser Andrea Leadsom MP, also says local authorities should be encouraged to publish a clear ‘Start for Life’ offer for parents in their areas, setting out local services and support.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The importance of early intervention and prevention services for children and families cannot be overstated, and this report rightly recognises the crucial support provided by councils. 

“It is vital that the next phase of the review builds on the work that councils have already done to bring services for the early years together and make them as accessible as possible. 

“Councils know their communities best, and want to strengthen the local initiatives and partnerships that they have already worked hard to establish in this space, including targeting resources at the most deprived areas, despite limited resources.

“We are keen to work with Andrea Leadsom on the next phase of the review; however, if this vision is to be realised, it will need to be properly resourced. 

“The Government needs to invest in early intervention and public health services, to enable councils to work more closely with the NHS, implement best practice and, most importantly, help give children the best start in life.”

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