The First 2000 days of a child’s life will have a big impact on the next 30,000 days of their life (that’s 82 years). What happens in a child’s life from conception to age five shapes their development and mental and physical health throughout their life. The first 2000 days are important because 90 per cent of a child’s brain is forming over this time.
The First 2000 days sets you up for life
Thanks to the latest research, we know that even before a baby is born, their early life experiences and their parents’ health can affect them. Stressful events as the baby grows in the womb and in early childhood can predict a child’s learning at school. These events can also predict the risk of obesity, depression, diabetes and heart disease as adults. A high number of stressful events in the first 2000 days can also increase their chance of getting involved in the juvenile justice system. They could be more likely to smoke, be above a healthy weight or misuse drugs or alcohol.
With this in mind, NSW Health created the First 2000 Days Framework because we all have a role to play in giving children the best possible start to life! After all, it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.
[Source: NSW Ministry of Health 2021 First 2000 Days Implementation Strategy 2020-2025 ISBN 978-1-76081-5479]