Strategy targets child well-being
26 Feb 2009
The strategy stems from the Government's unease about health inequalities and rising levels of poor mental health and obesity. It outlines an extended role for children's centres and how they, along with schools, healthcare and community services, will support families to give every child a healthy and happy start to life.
The strategy, which covers children from pre-birth to 19 years of age, builds on the Every Child Matters programme. The following items are some of its main intentions:
- Rename the Child Health Promotion Programme, which covers childhood screening, immunisations, needs assessment and health promotion, the Healthy Child Programme (download the TTYB resource).
- Develop an e-learning programme for frontline health professionals, including health visitors, to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to deliver the programme. The training will include modules on attachment and neurological, speech and language development.
- Develop ways to engage fathers more in the early life of their child. These will include providing greater support to children's centres on how to involve fathers and providing arrangements for fathers to stay with their partners in maternity units.
- Develop an Antenatal Education and Preparation for Parenthood programme to help engage parents, including those from more disadvantage background.
- Roll out the NHS Early Years LifeCheck, an online tool for parents with babies aged five to eight months, nationally, and develop a Fathers' Early Years LifeCheck.
- Promote breastfeeding through children's centres and encourage hospitals and community settings to adopt the principles of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.
- Ensure each children's centre has access to a named health visitor to work as part of the team and oversee health work of the centre, as part of efforts to bring about the effective integration and coordination of services.
- Expand the Family Nurse Partnership, which provides intensive home visiting for vulnerable first-time young parents, from 30 to 70 sites by 2011, with a view to rolling out this support for the most vulnerable first-time young mothers across England over the next decade.
(Nursery World, 26 February 2009)
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