Leading and delivering early childhood services: 10 insights from 20 places across England and Wales
This report gives 10 insights for leading maternity and early years services, based on the learning from the 20 local areas in England and Wales that engaged with EIF in using the maternity and early years maturity matrix planning tool in 2021.
The case for supporting families during the early years of a child’s life, from conception to age 5, is strong. Early childhood is recognised as a critical period, determining physical, cognitive, social and emotional, and behavioural development in ways that have lifelong effects. The right support for families during this time can fundamentally change lives.
This report gives 10 insights for leading maternity and early years services for local leaders and national policymakers, based on the learning from the 20 local areas in England and Wales that engaged with EIF in using the maternity and early years maturity matrix planning tool in 2021. The report highlights examples of innovation and good practice, as well as the conditions and support required to enable progress to continue to build.
The insights are illustrated with over 50 practical local examples across the four dimensions of a well-functioning local early intervention system as set out in the maturity matrix:
- Plan: How local areas are taking forward strategy, commissioning and workforce planning.
- Lead: How local areas are setting up governance arrangements, and engaging leaders and the wider community.
- Deliver: How local areas are taking forward the delivery of services and interventions, and sharing information
- Evaluate: How local areas are understanding impact and using and generating evidence.
The report concludes by outlining what local and national stakeholders can take from the experiences described in the report as they plan for Covid recovery and seek to improve services in maternity and the early years.