19th January 2021
iHV welcomes a new report published today by the First 1001 Days Movement (F10001D) which provides insight into the impacts of COVID-19 and the Spring 2020 lockdown on babies.
The report, Working for Babies: Lockdown lessons from local systems, presents hard-hitting findings about the direct and indirect harm to babies, young children and their families caused by the pandemic. These “hidden harms” were broad and significant, and experienced unevenly depending on family circumstances and background. Historically inadequate or insecure funding, and a rising tide of need, has inhibited the ability of some services and local systems to respond to the needs of babies and their families during the pandemic. There were often ‘baby blind-spots’ where babies’ needs were overlooked in policy, planning and funding.
However, the report also provides some “good news stories” of organisations and systems which reacted and adapted positively to the pandemic. The report introduces the concept of “baby-positive” local responses and provides the beginnings of a formula for what good local systems should look like. In particular, it sets out the positive difference that was made by professionals who were connected to each other, and to their communities, and were empowered to meet families’ needs.
Most importantly, the report seeks to ensure that lessons are learned for the future of service provision for this age group. It provides further evidence of the importance of many things that the iHV campaigns for, such as clear leadership, a focus on babies’ needs, and a joined-up response.
Alison Morton, Acting Executive Director of the iHV said:
“This report adds further weight to the growing body of evidence on the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with babies and young children. The message is clear, despite the indisputable evidence that the first 1001 days are the most crucial period of human development, babies and young children have largely been forgotten in the national pandemic response. Now we know better, we must do better.
“We hope the report brings a much-needed tipping point for change. It provides a powerful impetus to the Government to focus their efforts on the things that matter most by investing in our youngest citizens, to put things right and achieve their ambition to ‘build back better’.”
Working for Babies: Lockdown lessons from local systems
The report will be officially launched today at the APPG on Conception to Age Two meeting. For those not able to secure a space on at the APPG meeting itself, F1001D will be live streaming it at 3pm this afternoon via the Parent Infant Foundation YouTube channel. It will also be available to watch back later.
Please get involved by talking about the report on your social media channels! Get involved with the conversation and the report by using the hashtags #WorkingForBabies #BabyBlindSpots on social media.