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Healthy city giving every child the best start in life

The Healthy City Board has worked in partnership with the institute of Health Equity in London focussing on their recommendation to 'give every child the best start in life'.

Considerable international evidence exists that investment in the early years (-9 months to 5 years) will break the cycle of disadvantage by changing children's life chances so they are able to reach their potential. The approach is universal with targeting of services proportionate to need. Local data indicates that 75% of children in Swansea may not have achieved the expected developmental milestone for their age by 3-3 ½ years and this is across the social gradient.

Partners in Swansea want every child to be ready for school. The Early Years Strategy focuses on how this can be achieved. The strategy aims to implement actions to improve school readiness and reduce inequalities between more or less deprived areas ensuring that no child is more than 6 months behind in attainment by age 3.

Part of the Early Years strategy is to reinforce the key messages by increasing awareness of what can be done by anyone caring for children to support the child's development and ensure that each child reaches their maximum potential.

To achieve this the Swansea Readiness for Birth, Nursery and School Statement' developed  with parents and carers was agreed by the Healthy City Board in July 2015 and will be cascaded to partners, organisations and the public across the City and County of Swansea in an easy read format which is currently in development. 

Other parts of the strategy cover early identification and signposting;  service reorientation and development; data and service quality.

For more information contact Nina Williams, Consultant in Public Health Medicine on Nina.williams@wales.nhs.uk or 01792 607492.

Best start Swansea

Readiness for birth, nursery and school

Even before a child is born, parents can influence their future and provide them with the best start in life. To promote this idea, the Best Start campaign was devised.

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