The early years of a child’s life provide a foundation for their future health, development and wellbeing.
A positive start supports children to reach their optimal potential. Positive development starts with pregnancy: a woman’s health during pregnancy is paramount to her child’s wellbeing, as well as her own.
During the first three years of life, a child’s brain develops rapidly, programming biological and behavioural responses that affect lifelong health, including whether a child will become obese or develop chronic diseases.
We also know that exposure to abuse, neglect or trauma during childhood can seriously affect a child’s physical and mental health and their resilience against disease as an adult.
How can we help?
We commission programs that help to facilitate positive parent-child relationships, which we know is the best way to ensure good child and family health. This means working in partnership with parents or carers, identifying and responding to each family’s unique needs, building on their strengths and identifying and responding to current and potential health issues.
Linking with other services in a family’s community is essential. Investing in child and family health also has general benefits, decreasing the burden of disease and making communities safer, better integrated and more productive.
The following links will take you directly to local council sites for children and families, or to the councils’ service directory guides.