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The age of opportunity

mum with child


Increasingly, emphasis is being placed on the work with under 2’s and their families, particularly in children centres.

The work of a special interest group set up by the DfE was published in March 2013 with the Wave Trust’s report into fulfilling lives through providing the highest possible quality of care for mother and child at the earliest opportunity.

The report Conception to Age 2 – the age of opportunity highlights the importance of support services for parents and child between the point of conception and age 2, during which time research suggests there is a most effective interaction between mother and child.

It also places an emphasis on the value of local intervention to develop secure attachment, with a full health and social care assessment by 12 weeks of pregnancy. Based primarily on the advice provided by practitioners, the report has emphasised the vitality of attachment between parent and child during the point of conception to the age of two, and the cumulative effect of suffering during this time in later life.

Health and integration in practice

Informing parents

The Department of Health’s fact sheet for parents ‘Getting to know your health visiting and school nursing service’ outlines what parents can expect from their local services and how health visitors can support children from 0-5 and their families.

NHS Start 4 life information service for parents

The Start4Life Information Service for Parents is one source of advice and information for all parents-to-be and parents of under 5s. Encourage parents to sign up for the service and receive free email and texts covering all aspects of pregnancy and early years.

Find out more…

You can find this information along with a range of other useful materials on this website in the Knowledge Hub – Health & Integration in Practice