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Early Years Healthy Development Review: We Interview Andrea Leadsom MP, Chair of the Review

That Nursery Life CEO Sam Green sat down with the Rt Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP to discuss the review which she led as Early Years Health Adviser to HM Government, The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days.

Andrew Leadsom MP TNL interview

The review was initiated last summer as part of the government’s broader strategy to ‘level up’, with the remit to set out a new vision for best practice across the health system to make sure that babies and children get the best start possible in life.

The review highlights 6 action areas:

  • 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