Charity collective, Best Beginnings, Home-Start UK and the Parent-Infant Foundation, publish a new report sharing families’ experiences of lockdown during pregnancy or with a baby.
Babies in Lockdown: listening to parents to build back better (2020), based on a survey of over 5000 families, highlights the chronic under resourcing of services for families, the inequalities in babies’ early experiences and its worsening forecast due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report warns that many families with lower incomes, young parents and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, will have been hit hardest by the pandemic. The Babies in Lockdown Report shines a light on UK baby inequalities as charities call on Government to act now to avoid a “Post-COVID19 lottery”.
Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented:
“The iHV welcomes this excellent report which lays bare just how challenging it has been for many parents during lockdown. It was distressing to read their stories and, in particular, how the most disadvantaged have felt the hardest impact of lockdown and lack of support. It is important that we listen to the voice of these parents and ensure that we are better prepared to meet the needs of young children and their families as the pandemic continues. We support the report title, we now need to build back better for infants and their families and this will include ensuring that all families receive support from the health visiting service during this crucial stage of their parenting journey”.
The report tells us that:
- COVID-19 has affected parents, babies and the services that support them in diverse ways.
- Families already at risk of poor outcomes have suffered the most.
- Without action, the pandemic could cast a long shadow on the lives of some babies.
The Babies in Lockdown: listening to parents to build back better (2020) report makes three policy calls for the UK Government:
- A one-off Baby Boost to enable local services to support families who have had a baby during or close to lockdown.
- A new Parent-Infant Premium providing new funding for local commissioners, targeted at improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children.
- Significant and sustained investment in core funding to support families from conception to age two and beyond, including in statutory services, charities and community groups.