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Analysis

Why the first 1,001 days are vital to childcare

More than 120 charities say childcare system is at breaking point

More than 120 charities say childcare system is at breaking point

The first two years of a child’s life pass quickly, but what happens during this period has lifelong implications.

It is a time when the brain develops at its fastest rate, and this development is a key determinant of the intellectual, social and emotional health of the child.

External influences, such as nutrition, sleep, maternal stress and neglect, can have a significant effect – not only mentally, but physically.

It is why this period – coupled with pregnancy – has become known as the 1,001 critical days.

It is now five years since a cross-party group of MPs launched the 1,001 Critical Days manifesto, which calls for an emphasis on the early years, and almost ten since the government’s Healthy Child Programme was launched in England.

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