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The Best Start for Life: A Vision for the 1,001 Critical Days

Posted 25th March 2021

The Government’s Vision for the Early Years gives a central role to Family Hubs in ensuring families can access the services they need through a welcoming hub for families: ‘Family Hubs as a place for families to access Start for Life services.’

The Government reinforced their commitment to champion Family Hubs today when they launched their cross-department policy to support families in children’s earliest years. The Best Start for Life: A Vision for the 1,001 Critical Days acknowledges the importance of parents being able to access support in a welcoming, non-stigmatising environment. Family Hubs build on what the best Sure Start Children’s Centres offer by ensuring help doesn’t end when children start school. They bring together the many different kinds of support parents need to resolve the practical and relational issues they face, including parenting challenges and conflict with each other.

The report describes how local Family Hub networks ‘may consist of both physical and virtual places where services to support families come together, from birth registration to midwifery, health visiting to mental health support and parenting courses to infant feeding advice. All of the many ‘wrap-around’ services provided by local authorities and health organisations – ranging from debt and housing advice and relationship support services, to language classes and support to overcome domestic abuse, substance abuse or to improve wellbeing – can also be accessible through Family Hubs.’

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