Independent inquiry into inequalities in health report. 1998. (accessed 13 July 2021)

The nature of the child's tie to his mother. 1958. (accessed 14 July 2021)

Sure Start numbers plummet as cuts hit children's services. 2019. (accessed 14 July 2021)

Centre for Early Childhood. Big change starts small. 2021. (accessed 13 July 2021)

Department of Health and Social Security. Inequalities in health: Report of a research working group (Black report). 1980. (accessed 13 July 2021)

Harlow HF. The nature of love. American Psychologist. 1958; 13:(12)673-685

Investing against evidence. The global state of early childhood care and education. 2015. (accessed 13 July 2021)

National Housing Federation. Half a million more children in poverty in private rented homes than ten years ago. 2019. (accessed 13 July 2021)

Mackes N, Golm D, Sarakr S Early childhood deprivation is associated with alterations in adult brain structure despite subsequent environmental enrichment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020; 117:(1)641-649

Robertson J, Robertson J. Young children in brief separation. A fresh look. Psychoanalc Study Child. 1971; 26:264-315

The importance of investing in early years health and social care

22 July 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 14


Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, from the University of Southampton, discusses the focus of a new initiative to improve early years health and social care, launched by the Duchess of Cambridge


The Centre for Early Childhood was launched in June this year by the Duchess of Cambridge, as part of the activities of the charitable Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The centre's aim is to raise awareness of the extraordinary impact of the early years on child development and promote best practice and positive action in order to transform society for generations to come.

For the foreseeable future the centre will concentrate on three domains:

The centre's inaugural report, Big Change Starts Small (Centre for Early Childhood, 2021), highlights why early childhood matters, based on scientific evidence, and identifies existing opportunities for making positive changes to improve early years health and social care.

Early childhood is defined by Unesco as the important period in a child's life from birth to aged 8 years. The first 5 years prior to a child entering primary school education are especially crucial because this is a period of rapid development—physically, psychologically and socially. Throughout this period, young children are influenced by the environment in which they live and the actions of the people in their immediate world, usually both parents but the primary carer is usually the mother. The environmental aspects in the early years are the foundation for future life and ongoing development towards full citizenship.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content