Preliminary findings of the Government’s review into babies’ healthy development

Early findings of the Early Years Healthy Development Review were outlined by Andrea Leadsom MP at the APPG on Conception to age two meeting, held this Tuesday [January 19, 2021]. Speaking at the online launch of the First 1001 Days Movement ‘s Working for Babies: Lockdown lessons from local systems’ report, Ms Leadsom said that the report findings ‘chime’ with what the Early Years Healthy Development Review has found.

The ‘hidden harms’ to babies during the spring 2020 lockdown and how there are often ‘baby blind-spots’ where babies’ needs are overlooked in policy, planning and funding, were highlighted in the report.

The First 1001 Days Movement is calling for governments across the UK to focus on how they can develop clear and committed leadership, mature and strong local partnerships, and professionals who are connected to each other and to their communities and empowered to meet families’ needs.

Ms Leadsom told attendees that evidence is emerging that services for babies have been ‘particularly better’ since the latter part of 2020, when the second and third lockdowns took place, and that this was largely because staff were not moved away as much as they had been in the first lockdown. The Working for Babies report revealed that services for babies were ‘heavily depleted’ just at the moment of need. The Early Years Healthy Development Review will give six recommendations, Ms Leadsom said. She hoped that by the time it is launched in February, it will have gained the approval of all the political parties so that this early years review will be ‘the one that sticks and endures’ for many years to come.

That babies have had ‘little social contact’ during the first lockdown is clearly a ‘bad thing’, she said, adding that the repercussions are yet unknown. Tackling some of the ‘awful’ experiences for babies during lockdown and looking at how families can benefit from some of the positive experiences will be at the ‘heart of the review’, Ms Leadsom said.

Ms Leadsom thanked early years professionals ‘who have done so much to support new families in such difficult period’ and reassured them that ‘these lessons would be learnt’ and reflected in the Early Years Healthy Development Review.

Source Early Years Educator

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