Five areas to transform maternity and early years services

A new one-year programme from the Early Intervention Foundation will look at how to improve outcomes for children in five areas.

The Early Years Transformation Academy will help local areas bring the right people together to build a shared vision of what maternity and early years services should look like in the future, using evidence and local intelligence to put together a plan.

The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has named the five areas that will take part in the Early Years Transformation Academy in 2019/20. They are:

  • London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
  • Dudley, West Midlands
  • Norfolk, East of England
  • Sandwell, West Midlands
  • Westminster/Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

They will consider how to prepare for change, identify vulnerable populations, system planning and how to measure the impact.

Donna Molloy, director of policy and practice at the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), said, ‘The early years are a crucial time for children’s development, when evidence-based early intervention can make a big difference. But we know that finding time to consider the evidence, while also continuing to deliver services, can be difficult.

'EIF is committed to developing effective ways of supporting those locally to use the evidence. The Academy is designed to bring local partners together, with time and space to understand the evidence on what works to improve outcomes for children, explore new approaches and consolidate their existing provision.’

Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member Family Services & Public Health - one of the areas taking part, said, 'We are really excited to be a part of this programme, as it means an opportunity for professionals dealing directly with families, from pregnancy up to school age, to work in a more joined up way to tackle problems.  This will help us make sure vulnerable children are not at a disadvantage before they even begin school. 

'It will give us a chance to optimise resources to ensure secure family attachments, good parenting and healthy development including early years’ speech and language.

'Through this we should find the best ways to spot where a child is falling behind before the age of five. Then support to young children can be targeted as early as possible so that they have the strongest start to school.'

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