Childhood Matters for Adult Health
What children experience during the months of pregnancy and in the following five or six years helps to make them absolutely unique individuals, even if they are one of a pair of identical twins. That is not to say that people don’t continue to grow, change and develop over time because they do – what it does mean is that the earliest years are some of the most important for physical development and dexterity, for development of language, social skills, empathy and many others. We know too that Childhood Matters for adult health – and that the patterns of eating, exercise and activity that are established early influence children’s health throughout their lives.
Marmot Review Summary
Marmot Full Report
Marmot New Regional Inequalities Data
The Millennium Cohort Study- following the lives of 19,000 children in Britain
The Millennium Cohort Study is building a picture of children from birth onwards. The Study is following around 19,000 British children born at the beginning of this century to gauge just how important those early formative years from 0-5 are. The study will continue to track the children until they reach the age of 11. This is a groundbreaking project as it presents a unique picture of family life in Britain today, examining education, health, poverty, parenting, religion and ethnicity.
Children who do not reach key developmental milestones at nine months old were more likely to struggle at school. Babies who were slow to develop their motor skills at nine months were significantly more likely to be identified as behind in their cognitive development, and also likely to be less well behaved at age five.
Children whose parents read to them every day at the age of 3 were more likely to flourish in their first year in school and found to be 2.4 months ahead of their peers in language, literacy and maths. Foundation Stage Profile scores were also boosted in social, emotional, physical and creative development.
Children from lower-income families with parents who were less highly educated were less advanced in their development at age five. Living in social housing put them 3.2 months behind in maths and 3.5 months behind in literacy.
94% of all families who applied for a state primary school place in England successfully got the school they chose on paper, in reality only 88% sent their child to the school they most wanted. Mothers with a degree were less likely to get their first choice of school (88%) than those with fewer than five GCSEs at grade C or above (94%). This could reflect the fact that university-educated parents were more likely to choose a higher-performing school,
Such findings from a study of this scale have important implications for many aspects of children’s lives in the present and in the future.
Please note that the Principles into Practice cards below refer to the EYFS 2007, they are not linked to the Revised EYFS.