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Welcome to the Families in the Foundation Years website – information for all families in England with children under the age of 5

Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. That's why they are called the foundation years – the building blocks for life! During these foundation years, children's health, maternal mental health, parenting style, learning activities and early education are all influencing factors that can make a big difference to your child's future.

Here we take you through the main life stages all families experience from preparing for parenthood through to starting reception class. Each section gives an outline of the huge range of information available to you to help in making choices and plans. We also provide links to other websites to offer you more information if you need it.

Happy, healthy and ready to learn
Pregnancy and the early years of a child's life are the most important for their development. From making friends and relationships, becoming lively communicators to success in school and later life – this is an important time for you and your child and there are lots of people on hand to help you and your family flourish.

Parents

Support for mums and dads too
Families come in all shapes and sizes and are constantly changing. But we all need help and support at different times. You will want to do all you can to help your child grow and develop, and specialist support is on hand to help you to make the best choices possible.

You will also be able to expect help from your employers with new parenting leave and flexible working.

This site is designed to help you work your way through the information and support on offer to help your child get off to a great start in life. Remember to return to Families in the Foundation Years to discover more about the next stage... when you get to it!

NEWS UPDATE:

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on Early Education and Childcare and is seeking views from parents and carers as well as local authorities and providers of free early education or childcare.