New parents to get breastfeeding and mental health support under plans

New parents will get support for mental health issues and breastfeeding under Boris Johnson’s ‘early years’ plan to improve babies’ lives

  • New parents will have access to breastfeeding and mental health support
  • Councils will be told to publish details of services available to families across UK
  • Boris Johnson is to champion the plans to ensure children get the best start to life following the toll taken by the Covid-19 pandemic 

New parents will have access to breastfeeding and mental health support under plans to ensure babies have the best start to life.

Councils will be told to publish details of services available to families in each region. A Cabinet minister will also be given responsibility for overseeing the plans with an ‘early years’ brief, it is understood.

Boris Johnson plans to champion the plans to ensure children get the best start to life following the toll taken by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the proposals, councils will be encouraged to publish details of ‘Start for Life’ assistance available for parents in their area. 

New parents will have access to breastfeeding and mental health support under plans to ensure babies have the best start to life 

This will include services such as midwifery and health visitors – which are already offered – but also breast feeding and mental health support.

Specialist services – including help to quit smoking and intensive parenting support – will also be offered under a ‘plus’ service for families who need them.

Hubs modelled on the Sure Start centres for under-fours will also open around the country to allow families to access council services.

A new digital ‘red book’ will be introduced so families and healthcare workers can access information about a child.

Plans for apprenticeships to train individuals to help new parents raise their children are also said to be in the pipeline.

Boris Johnson plans to champion the plans to ensure children get the best start to life following the toll taken by the Covid-19 pandemic

The services offered by councils will be subject to inspections, allowing them to be ranked.

The ‘Early Years Review’ – led by former Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom – will cover the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. She said: ‘Ensuring that every baby gets the best start for life has been my passion for more than 20 years.

‘The coronavirus pandemic has put even more pressure on already struggling families and, just as we need to level up economic opportunity across the country, we need to level up the support and care for the very youngest.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: ‘Everybody should have a solid foundation on which to build their health and we are determined to level up the opportunities for children, no matter their background.’

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