Every child in Suffolk has the best start in life
Giving every child the best start in life is crucial in establishing a good foundation for future development. Early intervention not only improves the life chances for our children, but also reduces future costs as intervening early, before behaviours become entrenched, is likely to be more effective.
Giving the best start means ensuring the child has the best environment before they are born. Smoking in pregnancy and being very overweight can have negative effects on a child’s health. Breastfeeding babies gives them an advantage and evidence shows that children who suffer neglect and extreme lack of stimulation in infancy have decreased brain function and can inhibit their capacity to learn and thrive. You can learn more about breastfeeding and the support offered in Suffolk.
Interventions in early infancy have been shown to produce better outcomes and can improve educational attainment, economic status and health, including mental health.
There is a strong link between poverty and poor health, educational and social outcomes. Evidence from the Suffolk Joint Strategic Needs Assessment also indicates:
- Inequalities in life expectancy within Suffolk are increasing.
- Levels of relative deprivation in Suffolk have increased.
- One third of 11 year olds in Suffolk are overweight or obese, and fewer than one fifth of 5-16 year olds do the recommended amount of daily physical activity.
- Many children and young people in Suffolk will experience adverse events in their lives; while this does not predetermine their life chances, children experiencing 4 or more of these adverse events are likely to have increased risks of worse outcomes.
- Social mobility in Suffolk is very low.
Priorities for action:
- Increase the numbers of children who are a healthy weight in Suffolk
- Enable early intervention to support children who are vulnerable in Suffolk, including those experiencing adverse childhood experiences such as parental drug and alcohol misuse and domestic violence
- Improve social mobility in Suffolk so that our children and young people realise their potential
The GP Infant Feeding Network (GPIFN) offers support to GPs surrounding infant feeding issues that may present themselves.
The Family 2020 Strategy has been replaced with the Suffolk Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Hub