The Health and Social Care Committee has launched an inquiry into the early years of a child’s life.
The bulk of public spending during a child’s life comes in their teenage years, but there is a strong case for investing public money much earlier. What’s more, there is strong evidence showing how we can spend such resources to good effect. The Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, the Rt. Hon Norman Lamb MP, has told the Committee the problem is the gap between what we know and what is currently provided. The Committee’s inquiry is not planning to re-examine the evidence base or the economic case. Instead it plans to focus on the following three key areas: national strategy, current spending and barriers to investment and local provision.
The Committee are asking for submissions on the following questions:
- The top priorities for a national strategy, based on existing evidence and lessons from other countries, particularly the devolved administrations.
- The current roles, responsibilities and functions across Whitehall, executive agencies and other non-departmental public bodies for the First 1000 Days, including suggestions for how these arrangements could be made more effective.
Current spending and barriers to investment
- Recent public spending on services covering the First 1000 Days.
- Difficulties in making the case for investment nationally and locally.
- The scope, scale and current performance of provision for First 1000 Days of life, including universal and targeted approaches.
- Barriers to delivery (e.g. workforce shortages, financial constraints on councils)
- What a high-quality evidence-based approach to service provision would look like for the First 1000 Days of life.
Together for Short Lives will be responding to this inquiry and invite perspectives and responses to help inform our submission to the Health and Social Care Committee.