Our vision is that every baby has loving and nurturing relationships in a society that values emotional wellbeing and development in the first 1001 days, from pregnancy, as the critical foundation for a healthy and fulfilling life. As a movement of organisations and professionals, our mission is to drive change together by inspiring, supporting and challenging national and local decision makers to value and invest in babies’ emotional wellbeing and development in the first 1001 days.

Read The First 1001 Days Movement Theory of Change and Operational Plan 2020-2023

The importance of emotional wellbeing and development

The first 1001 days is a period of uniquely rapid growth when babies’ brains are shaped by their experiences and environments. Babies develop in an environment of relationships: sensitive, responsive care is the most fundamental element of optimal emotional development.

By supporting early relationships, we can put children on a positive developmental trajectory, better able to take advantage of other opportunities that lie ahead. Conversely, if babies have a difficult start it can have widespread effects on multiple domains of development, leading to an increased risk of a wide range of poor physical and mental health, social, educational and economic outcomes.

Most often, parents are the best providers of nurturing care. Parents’ wellbeing is therefore essential for babies’ wellbeing and development. Parents are most able to provide the care that babies need when they have positive relationships themselves, when they are emotionally, financially and socially secure, when they have family friendly employment, and when they are in families and communities that nurture them and attend to their needs.

When families use childcare, it is important that care is high quality and also provides babies with the sensitive, responsive, consistent relationships that they need to thrive. Policies and local services play an important role in giving parents, caregivers and families the knowledge and resources to provide nurturing care to their babies. Mothers, fathers and other caregivers benefit from information, affirmation and encouragement. Some families need more support from services. It is vitally important that these families can receive the right support at the right time.

Together, we call on decision makes across the UK to:

  1. Make a high-level strategic commitment to improving outcomes for all children, starting in the first 1001 days
  2. Invest in the “age of opportunity”
  3. Encourage joined-up local action
  4. Ensure every baby and family can access a continuum of care
  5. Develop the workforce

Read in detail, here

The First 1001 Days movement responded to Health and Select Committee Inquiry Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond. 

The submission covers:

  1. The importance of protecting babies' wellbeing, given the pervasive and long-term impacts of stress and adversity during this critical stage in their development.
  2. The need for leadership to protect the interests of babies in decision making.
  3. The need for a cross-Government Recovery Strategy for Children that fully addresses the needs of babies and their families. 

Read the full submission, here