The NSW Government has today launched a whole-of-government initiative to better support families that are navigating the first 2000 days of their child’s life.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the Brighter Beginnings initiative focuses on this crucial period from conception to age 5, across the breadth of government services.
Brighter Beginnings aims to ensure children in NSW have the best start in life. Crucial to achieving this goal is simplifying and improving the way families access information and services, through a number of parenting life navigator tools and a whole of government web page.
This provides a one stop shop of resources for families when expecting a baby and will support them throughout their child’s early life. This includes keeping track of health and development milestones, accessing financial support, finding early childhood education and care, starting primary school, returning to work and emotional and legal support for parents.
“We know 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of five, and there is a wealth of research on how early experiences in the first 2000 days of life can have flow-on impacts in every decade of life,” said Minister Mitchell.
“We also know this is a challenging and often overwhelming time for new parents.
“Families have told us it can be difficult to access and navigate the support available, from pregnancy to school age and beyond, so we want to make this journey as simple as possible to ensure children are getting the best start in life.
“To achieve this, we are working across government agencies to improve information for families, connect universal services and provide targeted support for those facing complex disadvantage.”
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said Brighter Beginnings would help improve the life outcomes of vulnerable children and young people.
“Our Government is focused on keeping families together by intervening early, with evidence-based services, when issues arise,” Mr Ward said.
“This initiative will help parents be better parents, by giving them access to the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the first 2,000 days of their child’s life.”
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the initiative is another example of the NSW Government using technology to make life easier for families.
“The first years of a child’s life are among the most special and memorable for parents but also the most stressful, which is why a digital diary is needed to help manage the important issues,” Mr Dominello said.
“We’re putting families front and centre of this initiative by saving them time and hassle, so they can spend more time on their newborns.”
Brighter Beginnings: the first 2000 days of life initiative launches 30 October 2020 with a virtual conference that will bring together government leaders, policy makers, leading experts and researchers. The event will explore the importance of the first 2000 days of life from health, wellbeing and education perspectives, and opportunities for governments and service providers to work together for improved citizen experiences and life outcomes.