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iHV welcomes Early Years Commission – A Cross-party Manifesto

9th July 2021

We’re delighted to see yesterday’s cross-party support for the early years published in the Early Years Commission: A cross-party manifesto – #EarlyYearsManifesto. Yet more evidence for the case for investment.

Alison Morton, Executive Director iHV, who provided evidence on health visiting as a witness to the commission commented:

“The importance of getting it right for every child cannot be over-emphasised. I am delighted to see such strong cross-party agreements and a cross-departmental commitment to prioritise the earliest years of life set out so clearly in this report. The commission has highlighted the importance of tackling the root causes of siloed working alongside the benefits of investing early, rather than ‘firefighting’ and tackling emergencies. With so much attention on the early years at the moment, action to start to put this right cannot come soon enough”.

The manifesto outlines how our country must give every child the best start in life, and right now we are falling short. Despite improvements among some children, too many continue to fall behind in their first few years, particularly those living in poverty. Many are not ready to learn by the age of five and struggle with their health and wellbeing, leading to damaging long-term consequences. It is this reality which obstructs our country’s path to a more prosperous future. We will never truly level up if we don’t recognise this. There are steps we can take now to help those children, even though they and we may not realise the benefits for decades.

It is good to see health visitors mentioned as a key workforce that requires strengthening in order to achieve these ambitions.

Through their Cross-party Manifesto, The Early Years Commission calls on central and local government, community organisations, the private sector, parents, and society as a whole to come together to achieve this goal.