Best start in life

In this section

Well-being objective 1: Help to give every child the best start in life and improve their early life experiences

Why is this objective important?

  • Giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing inequalities across the life course.
  • Children who experience stressful and poor quality childhoods are more likely to experience poor mental health and develop long term health problems as they move into adulthood.
  • What happens during these early years has lifelong effects on many aspects of health and well-being - from obesity, heart disease and mental health, to educational achievement and economic status.
  • There is a growing recognition of the detrimental impact which exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in childhood, particularly multiple ACEs, can have upon physical and mental health and well-being, relationships with others, educational attainment and prosperity outcomes into adulthood.
  • Looked After Children (LAC) are more likely to have been exposed to high rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences associated with poor long-term outcomes before entering care.

Why should this concern us?

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have harmful impacts on health and well-being across the life course. For every 100 adults in Wales, 47 have suffered at least one ACE during their childhood and 14 have suffered 4 or more. Children who experience stressful and poor-quality childhoods are more likely to adopt health harming behaviours. (National Survey of ACE's in Wales)
  • Children in workless households are more likely to experience ACE’s. 8.7% of children in Carmarthenshire are living in workless households, this is lower than the 2017 figure of 10.2% and is currently below Wales (12.6%) and the UK (10.5%).
  • In Carmarthenshire there are currently 70 children on the Child Protection Register, 148 Looked After Children and 839 children in receipt of care and support (@ 14/12/20).