West Sussex County Council have now published the West Sussex Early Years Needs Assessment (available here) which was written by the Public Health and Social Research Unit as part of the West Sussex Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA).
The early years of life are crucial for long-term physical, social, emotional and mental wellbeing. Experiences in the early years can have lifelong consequences. The purpose of this needs assessment was to identify whether the needs of young children (from conception to age five) and their families are currently being met in West Sussex, and to provide recommendations based on what is working well, and where things could be improved.
WSCC asked families and professionals across West Sussex for their views concerning how the needs of children under the age of five are currently being met, and reviewed local and national evidence. From insight recommendations to improve children’s health and wellbeing in West Sussex were made.
The evidence is clear, investment in, and a policy emphasis on, the early years of life yields better long-term outcomes than interventions in later years; the return on investment is higher, although benefits may take longer to be realised. A ‘good start’ for all children will improve health, social, educational and economic outcomes in West Sussex, and will act to reduce inequalities and increase social mobility within the population.
The Early Years needs assessment report comprises:
1. A summary (detailing key findings and recommendations)
2. Full report
3. Qualitative report on engagement with families and professionals