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Manifesto for Babies

A Manifesto for Babies is published by the First 1001 Days Movement – a coalition of over 200 charities and professionals who believe that babies’ emotional wellbeing and development matters. Our members deliver a wide range of services that protect and support vulnerable babies and their families. These recommendations for UK policymakers are based on a survey of our membership.


Recommendation 1
Recommendation 1

An ambitious cross-government strategy to support babies’ healthy development

  • A Cabinet Committee made up of relevant Secretaries of State, reporting to the Prime Minister, to join up government
  • An ambitious cross-government strategy for babies that aligns government departments to work towards common outcomes
Recommendation 2
Recommendation 2

Invest more in prevention

  • Sustainable funding of preventative services, including health visiting, with public health budgets ring-fenced from day-to-day and capital spending
  • The Treasury to recognise the full benefits of services that improve outcomes in both the short and long term and across departments
  • Extending funding for the Start for Life programme until every neighbourhood has a Family Hub or Children’s Centre
  • The NHS Long Term Plan to include preventative mental health services for babies

Recommendation 3
Recommendation 3

Tackle health inequalities so that all babies have a good start to life

  • A national strategy to support babies in the first 1001 days should include targeted approaches to reduce inequalities
  • The next government to commit to tackle child poverty and scrap the two-child limit policy
  • Integrated Care Systems to be held accountable for their statutory duty to reduce health inequalities and invest in services that support babies’ social and emotional development
  • Services to be co-produced with families to reach the most vulnerable babies in marginalised and isolated families

Recommendation 4
Recommendation 4

Develop a workforce plan for children‘s social care and the early years

  • Adequate staffing levels to support babies and provide safe care in all settings
  • Collaborating with professional bodies to accurately estimate and address workforce gaps across services
  • A workforce plan for social care and the early years workforce to complement the NHS Workforce Plan
  • A review of training pathways to explore new entry routes to careers in the NHS, early years, social care and the voluntary sector

Recommendation 5
Recommendation 5

A rapid review of the tax and benefits system for parents and carers of under-2s

  • Government to recognise that supporting babies’ healthy development is equally important a policy objective as getting new parents back to work
  • Parental choice to return to work to be supported
  • Government to provide six weeks’ well-paid paternity and parental leave to help fathers play a more active role
  • Training in infant mental health for nursery staff and all those working in paid settings caring for under-2s

Manifesto Download

Browse the full report below, or download the PDF by clicking here.

The Manifesto for Babies was developed by a Steering Group comprised of Future Men, the Institute of Health Visiting, NSPCC, the National Children’s Bureau, Home-Start UK, the Anna Freud Centre, AiMH-UK, the Association of Child Psychotherapists, SANDS, Blackpool Centre for Early Child Development, Best Beginnings, Approachable Parenting, Fatherhood Institute, OxPIP, the Parent-Infant Foundation and elected individual experts: Professor Eunice Lumsden, Bethany Boddy and Emma Carey.

The recommendations represent the collective views of the First 1001 Days Movement, and not necessarily the individual policy positions of each and every member organisation.

For further information please contact the Movement’s convenor Tamora Langley at [email protected]