Brighter Beginnings – the first 2000 days of life

The Brighter Beginnings initiative is giving children the best start in life by providing parents and families with the right information at the right time, improved universal services and targeted support.

Brighter beginnings - baby taking first steps
On this page

The first 2000 days of a child’s life set the stage for their lifelong health, wellbeing and learning. The brain develops more rapidly, and we learn faster at this critical time than any other in our lives – with positive connections and experiences laying the foundations for a bright future.

There are almost 100,000 births per year in NSW. Brighter Beginnings is a whole-of-government initiative to give all children in NSW the best start in life – no matter where they live or what their background is.

Read on to learn more about the Brighter Beginnings initiative.

Investment to expand Brighter Beginnings announced

In June 2022, it was announced that investment in Brighter Beginnings would see it significantly expand.

Find out what was announced

The new Brighter Beginnings package expands a suite of proven programs targeting child development, from prenatal to age 5. This investment will improve access to development and family support for NSW children and families.

Read the full media release.

Brighter Beginnings explained

The Brighter Beginnings Initiative

Investing in building the foundations to create positive connections and experiences, helping promote lifelong health, well-being and learning.

The First 2000 Days

Expanding a range of Brighter Beginnings programs across health, social services, and early childhood education, from prenatal to age 5.

Resources and summit videos

Pregnant woman

Helping you navigate the early years of a child's life

Step-by-step resources to help parents, carers and families navigate having a baby, their child’s health and development, enrolling in childcare, returning to work, getting financial and parenting support, and starting primary school.

Girl riding a bike

Catch up on the 2022 Brighter Beginnings First 2000 Days Summit

The Brighter Beginnings First 2000 Days Summit was a 2-day event on 31 October and 1 November, sharing the latest research and evidence on programs that support children and their families in the early years. A recording is now available.

The 2022 Brighter Beginnings First 2000 Days Summit followed the virtual conference that launched Brighter Beginnings in 2020.

Explore the recordings of the 2020 virtual conference.

What we're doing

Brighter Beginnings is a whole-of-government initiative to give children the best start in life. It aims to:

  • provide families with the information they need, when they need it empowering them with clear, reliable and timely information to make their decisions
  • improve universal services that lift the standard of opportunity for all – facilitating full participation in universal health, education and family services
  • target support and services for families that need it most – improve existing services and deliver evidence-based supports for families with additional needs.

Our vision

We are committed to giving every child in NSW the best start in life.

Making sure more children are developmentally on track when they start school is the first step to achieving full participation and lifetime health, education, social and economic benefits. A connected approach will drive better outcomes for children across every decade of their life and across generations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives. It has proven how resilient NSW is and highlighted further opportunities for Brighter Beginnings to improve and modernise how we deliver services.

The health, wellbeing, safety and prosperity of our community is paramount. Brighter Beginnings is committed to supporting families on the road to social and economic recovery and making NSW the best state to raise a child.

Overview of Brighter BeginningsThe first 2000 days of lifeOur mission: We are supporting all children in NSW to have the best start in life.1. Build understanding of the importance of the first 2000 days of a child's life for health, wellbeing, education and life outcomes.2. Connect services and support across government to provide a seamless experience for families.3. Provide easy access to timely information and services for parents and carers as they make choices for their child.


Our approach

Identifying the shared goals and needs of parents and carers is at the heart of our approach. Families were engaged to understand what they need and how we can better support them during these early years of a child's life. 

We’re mapping your experiences of the service system so that we can make your connection with services smoother and more valuable in the first 2000 days of your child’s life.

By understanding this better, we will have:

  • a comprehensive view of your experiences across multiple government and non-government interactions 
  • a greater ongoing understanding of your needs and policy impacts
  • identified opportunities to significantly improve your experience, and improve quality of life for the citizens of NSW
  • co-designed opportunities for improved service delivery in ways that best meet your needs.

We are working collaboratively across human services agencies to draw on the breadth of expertise and continue to grow the evidence base to improve outcomes for children and their families. We are looking to partner with local agencies, communities, the Australian Government and other jurisdictions to ensure we continuously innovate and improve how we provide and how you access early childhood services across NSW.

Why we're doing this

The first 2000 days of life, from conception to around the time a child starts school, is a critical time for physical, cognitive, social and emotional health. What happens in the first 2000 days of life has been shown to have an impact throughout a person’s entire life, across all phases of life and between generations.

Assisting children and families to thrive in the early years leads to better long term life outcomes. In the future, this early support will mean greater equity of opportunity for all to participate in society, the workforce and to contribute to NSW.

There are many factors that impact on a child’s development. Some are genetic, some are environmental. They include individual, parent, environmental and community factors. We already have good evidence for services and supports that have been shown to improve children’s health and developmental outcomes. More evidence emerges daily on practices to better support children and their families.

We have heard you tell us the system is difficult to navigate. The evidence provides more guidance than ever before to improve how service providers and communities can better support parents and carers. We seek to support individuals who are parents and carers now, will be parents in the future, or who are supporting parents to raise children so that children achieve the best of their capacity.

Find out more about individual agency programs and initiatives to support families in the first 2000 days of life.

Find child and family support in your local area

Subscribe to find out more about Brighter Beginnings

Enter your name
What would you like to hear from us about?
I am a (please select all that apply)

Each of the departments requests your email address and name so that we can provide you with regular updates through an email newsletter.

For the same purpose, the departments may provide this information to a service provider contracted to distribute the email newsletter.

The departments will not disclose your personal information to anybody else unless we are required to do so by law - for example if the information is needed in an emergency or for a law enforcement purpose.

Providing us with the requested information is voluntary. However, if you choose not to provide us with the requested information, we cannot send you the email newsletter.

The email newsletter is offered as an ‘opt in’ subscription. You can 'opt out' at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the newsletter.

You may request access to your information at any time. To access, update or correct your personal information, or for more information on our privacy obligations, ask to speak to a Privacy Officer, see details below.

Top of page