Adopting a Public Health Approach to Supporting Parents Can Help Give Children Best Start in Life

A new report published by Public Health Wales’s First 1000 Days Programme describes how parents, communities and wider society can work together to give children in Wales the best start in life.

The report brings together current theory, research evidence and insight into the experience of parents and professionals in Wales. It highlights the central role parents have in shaping their children’s lives in the first 1000 days and how action to support parents to thrive in their parenting role has the potential to break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and support the wellbeing of future generations.

Parenting plays a key role in influencing children’s current and future wellbeing and the report outlines a public health approach to supporting parents that shifts the focus from what individual parents ‘should do’ towards creating the conditions for families to flourish. It highlights how the places in which parents live, work and socialise influence how parents think and feel, and what they are able to do. A society that supports parenting offers good fair work; homes that are safe and warm; affordable transport; strong communities; and easy access to supportive services when they are needed.

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