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APPG Meetings

2021/22

Infant Mental Health and Family Hubs, Tuesday 14th June, 9am

This was our first hybrid meeting of the APPG and took place at the same time as the AGM meeting. Today's meeting was the third and final meeting in our series on Family Hubs. Taking place in Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, the topic was Infant Mental Health and Family Hubs. We were delighted that the Minister for Children, Will Quince MP and Dame Andrea Leadsom MP could join us to discuss Government's policy on Family Hubs and Start for Life. Other speakers were Sally Hogg, Deputy CEO at the Parent-Infant Foundation and Dr Lisa Marsland and Majella Maguire who talked about offering parent-infant relationship support in family hubs in Sefton. A recording of the event can be found here. Sadly due to the recording equipment in parliament, the sound and image quality is poor. https://youtu.be/H_26nnZF5vw

 

Infant Feeding and Family Hubs, Tuesday 26th April, 9am

This was the second of a series of three meetings focused on Family Hubs. Today's meeting was a joint session with the APPG for Infant Feeding, and it looked at infant feeding and family hubs.

Speakers at the meeting included Francesca Entwistle and Smita Hanciles from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative. The initiative sets out standards for how services can support families with feeding and help parents to build their relationship with their baby. Francesca and Smita talked about the Baby Friendly standards for children’s centres and how they are being used.

We also heard from Chloe Way of the Breastfeeding Network about breastfeeding support in family hubs in London and Melissa Nugent spoke about breastfeeding support in family hubs in Doncaster. Kelly Pascall described how the HENRY programme supports infant feeding and nutrition in family hubs and children’s centres across England.

This was followed by a discussion and questions and answers. The meeting was jointly chaired by Tim Loughton MP and Alison Thewliss MP. A recording is available here: https://youtu.be/xBq27LH6GB4

 

Midwives, Health Visitors and Family Hubs, Tuesday 22nd February, 9am 

This was the first of a series of meetings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Conception to Age Two focussed on Family Hubs and the first 1001 days. Today's meeting focussed on how midwives and health visiting services can work with family hubs. It began with a presentation by Jess Read, Deputy Chief Midwifery Officer for England giving a national perspective from NHS England. We then heard examples of local practice from Westminster and the Wirral. Finally, Alison Morton from the Institute of Health Visiting and Professor Gabriella Conti discussed current challenges facing health visiting. This was followed by a discussion and Q&A. The meeting was chaired by Tim Loughton MP and is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/sDUVRPovi38

 

Update on the Start for Life Programme, Wednesday 8th December, 3pm

This meeting was supposed to be an update from Dame Andrea Leadsom MP on the Government's Start for Life programme. Unfortunately, the meeting was disrupted due to votes in Parliament, but Andrea joined on her phone to answer questions from the audience. A recording is available here: https://youtu.be/YI7GohMMZoI

 

2020/21

 

Local services in the first 1001 days and current health reforms, Tuesday 8th June, 9:30am

This meeting focussed on local variation in the provision of services for babies and their families across England, and how this might be affected by current health and care reforms. Alison Morton from the Institute of Health Visiting spoke about local differences in health visiting around the country. Representatives from Camden and Surrey spoke about the work their local systems are doing to drive progress in the First 1001 Days. And there was a discussion with Department of Health Officials about how the Health and Care Bill will influence local partnership working for 0-2s.

The meeting was chaired by Tim Loughton MP, and ended with questions and discussion. It is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/NvtGZrtg-ec

 

Working for Babies, Tuesday 19th January, 3pm

On Tuesday 19th January, the Conception to Age Two APPG met virtually. The meeting was joined by over 120 people watching via zoom and youtube.

At the meeting, Jodie Reed from Isos Partnership presented the Working for Babies Report findings about how local systems responded to the needs of babies and their families during the pandemic.  Andrea Leadsom MP updated the group on the Early Years Healthy Development Review, describing how her recommendations “chimed” with the findings of the Working for Babies report. Sarah Newman, Executive Director of Children’s Services for the Bi-borough area spoke about the challenges and opportunities in delivering services for babies and their families during the pandemic and beyond.

The meeting was chaired by Tim Loughton MP, and ended with questions and an interesting panel discussion. It is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/NvtGZrtg-ec

 

Babies in Lockdown: Building Back Better, Tuesday 15th September, 5pm.

The APPG met on Tuesday 15th September to discuss the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on babies and their families, and how we can use this crisis as an opportunity to improve support for families in the first 1001 days.

It was a fantastic meeting with a great array of speakers and wonderful attendance from around the UK. There was lots of passion, energy and enthusiasm as the speakers talked about the importance of giving babies and toddlers the best start in life and shared their commitment to making a difference.

Nearly 300 attendees joined the event live. For those that missed it, a recording of the meeting can now viewed online here.

  • Becky Saunders from Home-Start UK presented findings of the Babies in Lockdown report produced by Best Beginnings, Home-Start UK and the Parent-Infant Foundation. Becky gave a detailed account of the impact of lockdown on parents and their babies, and the many challenges families’ have experienced. Her slides are available here
  • Sally Hogg from the Parent-Infant Foundation talked through the work that charities have been doing to influence Government policy during the pandemic to bring babies and their families to the fore. Sally explained the three policy recommendations made in the Babies in Lockdown report, including a proposal for a new Parent-Infant Premium. Sally’s slides are available here
  • Two mums, Laura and Dee, shared their powerful experiences of being a new parent during the lockdown.
  • Children's Commissioner, Anne Longfield, lent her support to calls to “put the youngest children at the forefront of recovery” from the pandemic. Anne also discussed issues around the fragmentation and lack of coordination of services, and how the most vulnerable children fall between the gaps. Anne described how Government’s ambitions to “level up” must start at the earliest opportunity.
  • Sharon Hodgson MP explained about the Early Years Commission that she is chairing with Edward Timpson MP.
  • Jo Churchill MP, Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, attended the meeting and shared her reflections. Jo talked about building on the positives and learning lessons from how services have adapted during the pandemic. She also discussed the need to tackle local variation in services around the country.
  • The Government's Early Years Health Advisor, Andrea Leadsom MP, shared her excitement about the review which she is chairing. Andrea described the scope of the review, which aims to set out a vision for “what good looks like” by January and then to drive action to make this happen. The review will involve listening to many stakeholders through expert groups, visits and a survey which is being launched at the end of the week. Andrea explained how she is “more optimistic than ever” that there will be change for babies and their families.
  • Catherine McKinnell MP talked about the Petitions’ Committee’s work around extending maternity and paternity leave and support for new parents. Catherine explained that, following the Government’s response to the Committee report, they will continue to push for action on these issues. “This is not a job done, it’s a job just begun”.

Many of the speakers, and Chair Tim Loughton MP expressed support for the Parent-Infant Premium policy proposal. You can read more about the proposal and how to support it here https://babiesinlockdown.info/