Sharon has given her support to the relaunch of a cross-party manifesto that highlights the importance of acting early to enhance the outcomes for children.
Sharon has joined a wide-group of Members of Parliament from eight different parties who have thrown their support behind the relaunch of a key policy commitment to achieving better perinatal mental health and stronger attachment between babies, and their parents, right from the start.
The ‘1001 Critical Days Manifesto’ was launched in the last Parliament, when Sharon also supported the manifesto, and called for all political parties to incorporate their recommendations in their manifestos.
The 1001 Critical Days Manifesto takes its title from the period from conception to age 2 when a baby’s brain is developing fastest, and he or she is most susceptible to forming strong bonds of attachment with a primary carer, which will have lasting impact and certainly set a child up for the best start in life, in school and into adulthood.
As part of the relaunch, Sharon and other Members of Parliament are pressing Government ministers to adopt the manifesto’s pledges as policy across a number of Whitehall departments steered by the Department for Health.
Other parliamentarians supporting the manifesto, include: Tim Loughton MP, Norman Lamb MP, and Caroline Lucas MP.
Many of the social problems seen in society today are results of poor parenting skills often as a result of a parent having had a bad experience as a baby and creating a generational downward spiral.
The goal of the manifesto is for every baby to receive sensitive, appropriate and responsive care from their main caregivers in the first years of life with more proactive help from public bodies, like the NHS and children’s centres, in a joined-up preventative strategy that supports the greatest change and outcomes in a child’s life.
The new manifesto draws attention to statistics that show around 26% of babies (198,000) in the UK are estimated to be living within complex family situation, of heightened risk where there are problems with substance misuse, mental health or domestic violence, whilst 36% of serious case reviews involve a baby under the age of one.
Following the relaunch of the manifesto, Sharon said:
“It is fantastic to see the 1001 Critical Days manifesto relaunched in this Parliament with more Members of Parliament than ever before offering their support to raise awareness of the need to help parents in the first 1001 days of their baby’s life.
“The lack of early intervention policy by the Government to support parents and their babies in complex situations can lead to issues further down to the line, including around a child’s health, education, brain development and behaviour, and especially into adulthood and the costs incurred on the taxpayer when these issues could have been addressed at an early stage.
“That is why it is important that families are offered and provided with the necessary help at the earliest opportunity to end the generational cycle of disadvantage and I hope the Government will seriously listen to these concerns.”