New App Aims to Guide New Parents
Free app “24 Magic Months” from Liverpool City Council provides a framework of development for children’s first two years.
Released last week, 24 Magic Months claims to provide up-to-date information on childcare, simple activities to help babies’ progress, and alerts with advice that are tailored to the user’s child’s age and stages of development. The app has been developed by a team of Health Visitors from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and co-created with parents.
A 2021 study by C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that 80% of families questioned said they learned about milestones their children should be meeting from healthcare providers. Other sources included the internet (45%) and childcare providers (28%).
23% of the families studied said that they had been worried that their child may be delayed in its development. It was also found that families with these concerns were more likely to consult the internet about milestones than a healthcare professional. As all children develop at different speeds the app reassures parents that this is normal and what to do if they have concerns.
Considering the likelihood of families with young children consulting their phones instead of health professionals for guidance on development, the possibility of misinformation is high. Having immediate information in app form, developed by childcare experts, may be useful.
Cllr Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health, said “The app is packed with trusted and consistent advice from early years professionals, including short films from health visitors, children’s centre staff and other parents. It also contains useful information about the local services which are available to parents and carers within Liverpool.”
24 Magic Months is free on Android and the Apple Store. There will also be physical resources shared with local nurseries and children’s centres, available in a range of languages. More information can be found here.