Home-Start UK joined Best Beginnings and the Parent-Infant Foundation to reveal key findings from an online survey of over 5,000 parents that highlight the chronic under resourcing of services for families, the inequalities in babies’ early experiences and its worsening forecast due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three charities – who all work to improve outcomes for parents and children with a focus on the early years – warn that many families with lower incomes, young parents and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, will have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
Download the report here.
The results highlight a range of issues facing parents surveyed, revealing the devastating impact on babies as well as their parents, from increased mental health concerns and difficult birthing experiences, to dads and other co-parents being excluded from the pregnancy journey and digital health appointments reported as leaving some women feeling exposed and humiliated. The ramifications of the lockdown have been detrimental, and could cast a long shadow going forward for parents and babies alike.
Evidence shows that the first 1,001 days of a child’s life, from pregnancy to age two lay the foundations for a happy and healthy life. The support and wellbeing of babies during this time is strongly linked to better outcomes later in life, including educational achievement, progress at work, physical and mental health. Around 2,000 babies are born in the UK every day which means that over 200,000 babies were born between 23rd March and 4th July – the most intense period of lockdown.
Listen to Sabrinas story of her experience, fears and triumphs of having a baby during the pandemic.