The first five years of a child's life have a lasting impact on the type of person they become. A happy and healthy start in life, one that provides children with positive and nurturing influences, is vitally important.
Medium-term focus: the Government Plan 2020-23
A Government Plan 2020-23 priority is to ensure that Jersey becomes the very best place for children to grow up. It includes a commitment to develop better-integrated support in the early years of life (0 to 5 years).
The first 1001 days of life, from conception to age two, is a critical phase during which the foundations of a child’s development are laid. If a child’s body and brain develop well then their life chances are improved. Exposure to stresses or adversity during this period can result in a child’s development falling behind their peers. Ensuring that the brain achieves its optimum development and nurturing during this peak period of growth is therefore vitally important, and enables children to achieve the best start in life.
Empathy, self-regulation, attention, sociability and motivation are well embedded patterns in a child’s brain by the age of three years. A child’s development score at just 22 months can serve as an accurate predictor of educational outcomes at 26 years.