Home-Start UK chief executive, Peter Grigg, spoke in Parliament to help launch the First 1001 Days manifesto on Tuesday 19 March.

The First 1001 Days group is a coalition of over 200 charities and professionals supporting children in the first 1001 days of life. Home-Start UK is represented on the coalition's steering committee by Alex Corgier, our National Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Lead, and Alex has helped to draw up the new manifesto and its call for changes ahead of the upcoming election. Alex has worked to ensure that the role of volunteer support and the need to build compassionate communities is featured in the manifesto.

The First 1001 Days group launched the manifesto at a meeting of the Conception to Age 2 All-Party Parliamentary Group, with a presentation to MPs and Start for Life Minister, Andrea Leadsom MP.

As part of this launch Peter shared the views of local Home-Starts and what they are seeing families face on a daily basis, and where support needs to be strengthened.

Ahead of the APPG meeting, Peter said:

“A baby’s relationship with its parents and main carers is the foundation that underpins its healthy development. But not every baby grows up supported and nurtured. It is why we must build compassionate communities equipped to support families and children. Statutory and health services, specialist mental health services and, importantly, voluntary community sector organisations must all work together to bring their collective expertise to supporting families and children in the earliest years. It is only by taking this joined up approach that we will transform lives for all children.”

The First 1001 Days manifesto is a call for urgent support for vulnerable babies, amid growing concerns about the health and welfare of Britain's youngest. The appeal follows last month’s warning from the Academy of Medical Sciences that the UK is “betraying” young children, by neglecting their essential physical and mental health needs. 

The five headline asks in the First 1001 Days manifesto are:

1.      An ambitious cross-government strategy to support babies’ healthy development

2.      Invest more in prevention

3.      Tackle health inequalities so that all babies have a good start to life

4.      Develop a workforce plan for children‘s social care and the early years

5.      A rapid review of the tax and benefits system for parents and carers of under-2s

Download the manifesto