29 June 2022

Brighter Beginnings for NSW children in first 2000 days of life

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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baby crawling surrounded by lettered blocks

The first 2000 days of life are critical in a person’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional health. Photo: File.

The NSW Government has announced a $376.5 million investment for early child development and family support in the state over four years.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Brighter Beginnings initiative had positive implications for families in her electorate.

Based on findings that the first 2000 days of life (from conception to around the time a child starts school) is a critical time for a person’s lifelong physical, cognitive, social and emotional health, the evidence-based, multi-agency initiative is aimed at giving every child in the state the best start.

Brighter Beginnings

Brighter Beginnings NSW Government initiative. Photo: NSW Government.

Ms Cooke said the initiative, funded through the 2022/23 NSW Budget, would make those first 2000 days easier for parents.

She said it would provide wrap-around support throughout pregnancy and after birth and incorporate an expanded suite of evidence-based development checks into early childhood learning.

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Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. Photo: File.

“This Brighter Beginnings initiative will allow families in the Cootamundra electorate to have the best possible early years support for themselves and their children, giving them the best start to life,” she said.

“This is a long-term investment that will reap benefits for children, families and the economy both today and for generations to come.

“It will also make a huge difference to outcomes at school, from behaviour to academic results.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said it’s clear that getting it right early in a child’s life has lifelong benefits for their future.

“Almost half of all four-year-old children do not get their recommended health and development checks,” she said.

Ms Mitchell said making the development check available in every NSW early childhood service will open the door to brighter futures for thousands of children.

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Alongside the NSW Government’s Affordable Preschool Program, the Brighter Beginnings package includes:

  • $111.2 million to bring health and development checks to all children in NSW preschool settings in partnership with health professionals
  • $98.7 million to continue and expand the number of Aboriginal Child and Family Centres across the state
  • $70.9 million to expand the transformational Sustaining NSW Families clinical nurse home visiting program
  • $57.2 million to develop the clinical interface of the Digital Baby Book
  • $38.6 million to make Pregnancy Family Conferencing available to more parents across NSW

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