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Bradford is one of 75 local authorities set to benefit from the government’s Family Hubs Start for Life programme.

It means the district will receive around £5million of the national £300million fund. The money will be focused predominantly on ages pre-birth to babies up to 2 years, often called the first 1,001 days.

The national programme aims to:

  • Provide support to parents and carers so they are able to nurture their babies and children, improving health and education outcomes for all.
  • Contribute to a reduction in inequalities in health and education outcomes for babies, children and families across England.
  • Build the evidence base for what works when it comes to improving health and education outcomes for babies, children and families.

Across Bradford district, existing Family Hub services, which support babies, children and young people from ages 0-19 (and up to 25 for some young people with needs arising from special educational needs and disabilities), will expand with this additional Start for Life funding.

We also intend to welcome more services to work out of our hub buildings, making it easier for families to access services they need in one space. This close working relationship already exists between core Council prevention and early help services, children health services, particularly health visitors, and wider community services that support families.

The funding is for specific areas of support:

  • Parent-infant relationship and parental mental health
  • Parenting support (for ages pre-birth to 2)
  • Infant feeding support
  • Promoting early language, particularly in the home

Bradford district’s Family Hubs and Start for Life programme involves a number of partners who are working together to deliver the programme. The partnership includes Bradford Council, Bradford and Craven Health and Care Partnership, the district care trust and Bradford and Airedale Hospital Trusts, Better Start Bradford and a number of local voluntary sector organisations.

Councillor Sue Duffy, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for children and families, said: “The first 1,001 days of a child’s life are absolutely vital to their getting the best possible start. This funding will mean that we can provide babies, young children and their families who take part in the programme with better support for their health, wellbeing and education. It will also help the partners running the programme to understand how we can improve long-term future outcomes for babies and young children.”

Amanda Stanford, Chief Nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership Best 1,001 days programme, said: “We know that the first 1,001 days are so important for every child’s development and health. What happens during this time will impact them for the rest of their life. We want every baby in the Bradford District to have the best start in life regardless of where they were born or their background. This programme will help achieve this ambition and provide us with vital learning so that we can improve the health outcomes and lives of future babies in our district.”