DD2158 Healthy Cities Programme

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2158
Date signed: 
05 October 2017
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

  This DD seeks approval for the GLA to receive external grant funding to the value of $100,000   
  (approximately £60,000) from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Healthy Cities Programme to commission a 
  process and impact evaluation of the first year of the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) programme.  
 

Decision

That the Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence approves:

1.    the receipt of funding of the value of $100,000 (approximately £60,000) from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Healthy Cities Programme; and
2.    expenditure of the same to commission a process and impact evaluation of the first year of the HEYL programme. 
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1 The Mayor has accepted an invitation extended by Bloomberg Philanthropies to participate in the   $5million Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC) Initiative which launched on 17 May 2017. Forty Cities around the world are participating in this initiative to reduce non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory diseases, which are responsible for 67 percent of the deaths in low- and middle-income countries. 
1.2 Bloomberg approved on 20 September 2017 the proposal submitted by the GLA to commission a process and impact evaluation of the first year of the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) programme. This will touch on the Healthy Cities priorities of smoking cessation and increasing physical activity and mainly focuses on their food and drink priority Nutrition healthy food for all.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1     The HEYL programme is an awards and recognition programme which supports early years’ settings to address a number of health and education priorities including childhood obesity, social, emotional and cognitive development and parental support. It builds on the very successful Healthy Schools London Programme which has over 80% of London schools participating. Currently we are in the pilot stage with six London Boroughs and 68 settings participating testing the materials and processes.  We plan to take HEYL to scale and roll out to all London’s early year’s settings from Spring 2018.  
2.2     HEYL will provide tools, support and networking opportunities to early years’ settings, enabling them to create high quality, healthy learning environments to increase access to healthy food, provide opportunities to be more physically active and help improve physical, social and emotional health and wellbeing and school readiness. 
2.3     The aim of the evaluation is to assess the contribution that the HEYL programme makes to improving health and well-being, reducing inequalities in health and improving school readiness among children under five in London’s HEYL Pilot settings, and to make recommendations for improvements to the ongoing programme. In particular The evaluation will consider settings compliance of the food and drink standards as outlined by the current Children’s Food Trust (CFT) Food and Drink Guidelines for early years’ settings (Government standards to be revised Autumn 2017) and the UNICEF breastfeeding friendly initiative.  It will also identify the support required to enable low compliance settings to meet guidelines to achieve the HEYL Bronze Award.      

2.4     The adoption of a rigorous approach to evaluation of HEYL is important. As well as appealing to London policymakers looking at holistic delivery models the evaluation will also inform international stakeholders interested in city-wide settings based approaches to tackling health inequalities and academics will be interested in developing the evidence base for healthy early years interventions. 

 

Equality comments

3.1    Healthy Early Years London will be a key tool in the delivery of the Mayors new Health Inequalities Strategy. This aims to ensure that every London child has a healthy start in life and proposes that the Mayor:

•    “Launch a new health programme that will support London’s early years’ settings. This will be twinned with his successful Healthy Schools London Programme, ensuring that London’s children have healthy places in which to learn, play and develop”.  
 

Other considerations

4.1     A Health Inequalities Assessment was carried out for the HEYL programme in January 2016. Overall the assessment suggests that the programme will have a positive effect on both health and health inequalities. It recommended some changes to the existing tools in order to maximise the positive effects, and that further consideration needs to be given to the support available, from both the GLA and Local Authorities, to settings and childminders who participate in the programme. These issues are being addressed through the pilot period. After the initial pilot the assessment also recommended that an evaluation should take place to assess whether the programme is having an impact and identify any changes required.

 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the receipt and expenditure of $100,000 (approximately £60,000) in grant funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Healthy Cities Programme, to commission a process and impact evaluation of the first year of the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) programme.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1       The purpose of the evaluation: To assess the level of engagement of early years’ settings in the first year with the HEYL programme and any differential uptake by socio-economic, ethnicity and health/school readiness factors. 

7.2        Evaluation Sample: The setting that will participate in the first year of the HEYL programme. This 
will include the pilot boroughs (Croydon, Havering, Hounslow, Lambeth, Southwark and Tower Hamlets) who were recruited based upon pilot criteria: geography-inner/outer London; presence of existing HEY programme; Food flagship status; low performance in school readiness and health indicators. These boroughs will have been participating in HEYL since May 2017 and will hopefully continue post September 2017 when the Pilot ends.

7.3     Evaluation study aim: To assess the contribution that the HEYL programme makes to improving 
health and well-being, reducing inequalities in health and improving school readiness among 
children under five in London’s HEYL Pilot settings, and to make recommendations for improvements to the ongoing programme. 

Study objectives
•    To assess the level of engagement with the HEYL programme and any differential uptake by socio-economic; ethnicity and health / school readiness factors
•    To explore the extent to which involvement in HEYL is associated with changes in setting-level policies, activities and programmes
•    To explore the facilitators and barriers to setting involvement in HEYL 
•    To explore whether Healthy Early Years status is associated with changes in key indicators of health knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour, such as changes in eating, drinking or physical activity in children, parents/carers and staff
•    To assess whether HEYL affects health outcomes, such as levels of tooth decay and obesity.
•    To assess whether HEYL affects school readiness outcomes including improvements in personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language.
•    To assess whether HEYL adds value to local work in early years settings
•    To assess the effectiveness of the Evaluation approach for ongoing HEYL Evaluation 
 

Activity

Timeline

London Healthy Cities Proposal agreed by Bloomberg

20 September 2017  

Evaluation Procurement commences (led by GLA with support from Bloomberg)

October 2017

Launch of HEYL programme and implementation of first year evaluation

May 2018

Year one Evaluation Ends 

 

Spring 2019

Consideration of evaluation findings and implementation of recommendations into delivery of HEYL programme

Summer 2019