Infant Mental Health Week is 6 -10 June 2016 and events around the country are taking place to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of what is now known as the 1001 Critical Days – the period of life from conception to age two.
The 1001 Critical Days is an All Party Parliamentary Initiative which provides a vision for services in the UK for the early years period and highlights the importance of acting early to improve outcomes for children. Too many children and young people do not have the start in life they need, leading to high costs for society, and too many affected lives. Every child deserves an equal opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. This is not rocket science – but it is firmly based in neuro-science.
The cross party manifesto highlights the importance of intervening early in the 1001 critical days between 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 a lasting impact and certainly set a child up for the best start in life, in school and into adulthood if we get it right.
In Newcastle, there are local events on Thursday 9 June 2016 where local families with children or babies aged under two are invited to find out more about their baby’s brain development and experience some of the activities and services they can access locally to support this critical stage from conception to age 2 years.
Staff and volunteers from across Newcastle will jointly demonstrate a range of taster sessions including: Baby Massage, Baby Social, Speech and Language, infant feeding and starting solid foods. Information about how a baby’s brain develops will be available for parents to take away or to talk about with one of the specialists on the day.
Guests will also be invited to sign the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto to show their support for this important stage of a baby’s development.