Brighter Beginnings – the first 2000 days of life
The NSW Government 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.
We know that 90% of a child's brain development occurs by age 5. Early experiences in the first 2000 days of life can have flow-on impacts in every decade of their lifetime.
There are almost 100,000 births per year in NSW. Brighter Beginnings: the first 2000 days, is the NSW Government's whole-of-government initiative to give all children in NSW the best start in life.
Our aim is to improve the lives and experience of parents and families in the first 2000 days of their child’s life and better support all children to achieve the best start in life.
Learn more about the Brighter Beginnings initiative.
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 to make their decisions – a customer centric approach to empower families with clear, reliable and timely information
- 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.
The NSW Government is 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 the NSW Government to improve and modernise how we deliver services.
The health, wellbeing, safety and prosperity of our community is paramount. The NSW Government is committed to supporting families on the road to social and economic recovery and making NSW the best state to raise a child.
Identifying the shared goals and needs of parents and carers is at the heart of our approach. The NSW Government is undertaking customer journey mapping to better understand experiences of the service system to improve the customer experience in the first 2000 days of a child’s life.
We have met with families to understand what they need and how we can better support them during these early years of a child's life.
By placing the customer at the centre and mapping the end-to-end customer experience, we will have:
- a comprehensive view of the customer journey across multiple government and non-government interactions
- a greater ongoing understanding of customer needs and policy impacts
- identified opportunities to significantly improve the customer experience, and improve quality of life for the citizens of NSW
- co-designed opportunities for improved service delivery in ways that best meet their needs.
We are also 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 want to partner more widely – with local agencies, communities, the Australian Government and other jurisdictions – to continuously innovate and improve provision of and access to 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 the NSW Government, 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.