Baby and mother

Healthy early years

Start date: 13 November 2017
End date: 01 February 2018

The health and development of children in their early years is universally accepted to have far reaching consequences into adolescence and adulthood, for both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The Mayor has committed to focusing on the health of children as one of the key strategic aims of his draft Health Inequalities Strategy. He is planning to develop a new Health Early Years London Programme, so what should it entail? And what more can he do to ensure that all children in London have the healthiest start in life?

Key facts

  • Babies born in London are more likely to be of low birthweight than in England as a whole
  • Breastfeeding rates are lower in London than England as a whole
  • Almost 1 in 4 children in reception year are overweight or obese
  • 1 in 3 five year olds in London have tooth decay
  • Immunisation uptake rates are consistently lower in London than the rest of England
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in women in the first year after giving birth

Our investigation

The Health Committee is investigating healthy early years and how we can give children in London the healthiest start to life.

The Committee wants answers to a number of key questions:

  1. What are the key health challenges for children under 5 in London?
  2. What support is currently available to parents and carers to help keep their families healthy? What else would be useful?
  3. How can intervention be targeted to ensure it reaches those children and families most in need?
  4. What wider changes to London’s environment are needed to support better child health?

Get involved

If you would like to contribute to this investigation download the call for evidence below and please email your written submission to [email protected] by 1 February 2018.

We want to hear from any organisations and individuals with views on this important topic. You have the chance to inform our work and ultimately influence the recommendations we make to the Mayor of London.

Follow us @LondonAssembly to hear more about our investigation. You can also take part in the discussion using #AssemblyHealth and #HealthyStart.