The early years of a child's life are significant in forming the person they will become; physically, intellectually and emotionally. What happens during early childhood can have a lifelong effect on the health and wellbeing of an individual. Whilst later interventions are important, they are not as effective if the right foundations have not been laid in the early years of life.
In order to give a child the best start in life it is crucial to reduce inequalities in early development. This means ensuring high quality services such as maternity, parenting support, childcare and early years education.
In Shropshire, the health outcomes for children are generally good, but there are inequalities especially in our most deprived areas. Some children have specific needs due to disability or mental health issues.
Improving health outcomes for children, especially the most vulnerable, requires targeted preventative support such as around breast-feeding, smoking cessation, and improving physical activity for young children. Continuing to develop the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and increasing personalised budget for children with disabilities are also current areas of work.