Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Hywel Dda University Health Board, along with third sector partners, have commenced the Maternity and Early Years Strategy 2022-26, demonstrating the importance of priotising integrated child services.

The objectives of the Strategy focus on integrated early years and maternity services for every child. This is achieved by collaboration between local authorities, non-profit partners and health organisations.

The official launch of the Maternity and Early Years Strategy 2022-26 saw inspirational speakers, who discussed topics surrounding maternity and early years services and how families across West Wales can be supported.

Dr. Iram Siraj OBE of the University of Oxford drew attention to the importance of early childhood development and the need for integrated services. She spoke about how significant stakeholder involvement, multi-agency collaboration, and early identification of at-risk children are to the cause. Furthermore, she acknowledged the financial difficulties that many families encounter when accessing affordable childcare.

Claire Law, director of the Centre for Early Child Development, emphasised the usefulness of a place-based approach for bettering outcomes for families.

Public Health Consultant for the First 1000 Days programme in Wales, Amy McNaughton, highlighted the significance of a public health strategy for helping parents and families.

This launch event was a chance to show how both professionals and families across the region had benefitted from a place-based integrated model of providing maternity and early years services.

The priorities upheld by the Maternity and Early Years Strategy matches the research the guest speakers presented at the launch, including the impact of poverty, early childhood development, and inclusive policy development. This first step in the journey of the Strategy foretells a positive impact on future generations.

For more information, read the Maternity and Early Years Strategy for West Wales here: https://earlyyearsstrategywest.wales/