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iHV welcomes Petitions Committee Report – Impact of COVID-19 on new parents: one year on

7th October 2021

The iHV welcomes today’s Petitions Committee Report which calls on the Government to publish a dedicated COVID-19 recovery strategy for new parents. 12 months on from the Petitions Committee Report last year, it is clear that the pandemic continues to impact on new and expectant parents.

The Petitions Committee Report – Impact of COVID-19 on new parents: one year on calls for:

  • extra funding and resources to allow catch-up mental health support for new parents and to boost perinatal mental health services
  • funding for local authorities to arrange in-person visits to new parents by councils, voluntary organisations or health visiting staff by the end of the year
  • a review of monitoring and enforcement activity relating to employers’ health and safety obligations to pregnant women
  • legislation on the planned extension of redundancy protections for new and expectant mothers
  • a review into the funding, affordability and provision of childcare, and the sustainability of the childcare sector

Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director, said:

“We thank the Petitions Committee for their ongoing work championing the needs of new and expectant parents which have been largely overlooked during the pandemic. This hard-hitting report adds to the growing weight of evidence that has helped raise this important issue. It recognises the vital role that parents play in raising the next generation and the devastating and far-reaching impact that the pandemic has had on babies, young children and their families.

“We share the Committee’s disappointment that despite the government’s pledges to ‘build back better’, this has not translated into any tangible action or investment to make the changes that are needed to strengthen the support that families receive during these important earliest years of life.

“We support the calls for investment into the health visiting workforce which adds weight to the groundswell of support that the profession has received from a multitude of partners in the current #TurnOffTheTaps campaign. We join with them in calling on the Government to invest in giving children the best start in life.

“It is difficult to understand what more evidence policy makers need to take this matter seriously. We are currently wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money every year on ‘getting it wrong’ with spiralling costs of late intervention. Babies, young children and families need action now – this cannot wait any longer.”