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EIF report

Getting it right for families: A review of integrated systems and promising practice in the early years


21 Nov 2014

This review of integrated systems and promising practice in the early years explores key aspects of the system, such as information sharing, commissioning and workforce development, and considers how some local areas are making progress in bringing together systems and services more effectively.



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To produce this review, we worked closely with our Pioneering Places, sector leaders and local and national policymakers to explore the key features of an effective integrated early years approach that ensures families get the services they need at the right time.

Current financial pressures on local authorities’ budgets, combined with changes such as the transfer of commissioning responsibilities for public health for 0-5s to local authorities in October 2015, offer real opportunities for whole system integration and transformation. This review provides practical examples of where the drive to both improve outcomes for young families and reduce expenditure have beget innovative and effective models of service delivery.

Comments on Getting it right for families:

Professor Jane Moore, Director of Public Health, Coventry City Council said:

“The EIF report, ‘Getting it right for families’ is a useful and timely publication, at a point when the 0-5 resource for Health Visiting and the Family Nurse Partnership is soon to transfer to local government. The report resonates well with our work in Coventry, as we believe that integration is key to improving the health and life chances of children in the city. The helpful examples in the report provide insight and practical help that will make it essential reading for commissioners and providers who want to develop integrated models to improve outcomes for the 0-5s.”

Jayne Vertkin, Head of Early Help Services, Westminster said:

“It is great to see this report from EIF published today. It has been interesting to see that other areas are grappling with similar issues in terms of integrating early years services, and that we are all at different stages on this journey. Having a document that is both visionary, aimed at a multi-agency audience with examples of places that have made different aspects of the integration work is both motivating and practical.”

Anne Salter Head of Strategy, Partnerships and Performance, Dorset County Council said:

“In Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole we recognise that we need to change from commissioning separate services to commissioning co-ordinated support around the needs of children and families. The EIF report is just what we need and provides us with both the evidence base and real life examples to do things differently. Now is the time to drive cultural changes across the whole of the workforce, merging systems to provide services that make sense and a difference for families.”

About the author

Donna Molloy

Donna is director of policy & practice at EIF.