Start Well

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Every child has a strong, healthy start to life; from maternal health, through the first thousand days, to reaching adulthood.

Our work will focus on:

Supporting families
  • Ensuring that all mothers, parents, children and young people have access to the support they need to achieve good family health and wellbeing
  • Improving educational achievement across the whole of our population to better prepare children and young people for employment
  • Supporting children, young people and their families who are most vulnerable and need support from a range of services

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) has more young people aged 0-14 in our population compared to the national average. Across BLMK 30 to 40% of children aged 10 to 11 years are overweight or obese and 11 to 19% of children live in low income households. We have a significant proportion of babies born at a very low birth rate, especially in Luton, and children who qualify for free school meals do less well in education across BLMK.

Ultimately children who grow up in the most deprived areas of BLMK have a shorter healthy life expectancy.

That’s why we’re working to support parents, carers and children to ensure that all young people have an opportunity to live longer, healthier lives.

Our priorities in this area focus on improving health outcomes in early years and making sure that children are ready to start school. We also want to support children throughout school, especially those with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND). We will work to improve access to emotional wellbeing and mental health support to improve child and family resilience.