To inspire changes in how we treat the first 1001 days of life to help create a world where every child has the best possible start in life.
Zero2 Expo offers a powerful and engaging multimedia exhibition that raises awareness of this period between conception to age two through the showcasing of artwork, science, experts, talks, films and workshops in a touring outdoor exhibition.Image: Rise of the Divine Feminine by ©Alex Florschutz
The first 1001 days of a child’s life, from conception to the age of two, are critical for healthy infant development and may have lasting impact on a child’s mental and physical health for their lifetime. This time period is a window of opportunity for the implementation of vital changes which could lead to improved outcomes for children and have a protective and transformative impact on their lives.
The increasing awareness that too little is being done during this crucial time to promote child health and development culminated in the 1001 Critical Days Cross-Party Manifesto in 2015 (initiated by Andrea Leadsom Conservative MP S Northamptonshire). The Manifesto brings together politicians from across the political spectrum to acknowledge the importance of this period of child development for the first time.
The manifesto sets out a vision for the provision of services in the UK for the early years period with support from Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Royal Colleges and over 100 leading child and family, health, education and social care organisations from across the UK in recognition of the science behind the policy drive. Interventions at a later stage, by which time such problematic outcomes may have developed, are often financially costly and less effective than those implemented early.
“....love and nurture by caring adults is hard wired into the brains of children” Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer. (2016) The 1001 Critical Days: The Importance of the Conception to Age Two Period.
To engage all stakeholders from policymakers to health-care professionals, third sector organisations, parents and the general public, in understanding why new approaches to the first 1001 days of life are needed, and encouraging greater investment in early interventions, with a joined-up thinking, life cycle approach.
To raise awareness and public understanding of the long term effects of perinatal nutritional, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing and effects of stress upon the child’s development.
To raise awareness of the long term effects of traumatic pregnancy and birth on mother and baby.
To raise awareness of the importance of early mothering, relationships and the role of the father.
To raise awareness of the adverse effects of neglect, trauma and maltreatment upon the infant’s development.
To inspire women, men and families to engage in the dialogue of how to heal and change for a better future.
The long-term project aims are to promote and implement sustainable improvements in the mental and physical health of future generations. In doing so, the hope is to indirectly contribute to a reduction in public sector spending at other stages of the life cycle, to improve mental and physical health, reducing behavioral and emotional disorders throughout the life course and ultimately reduce poverty due to better health and employment potential of future generations.
Increasing general public awareness of the key issues of the 1001 days of life. It is envisaged that this will lead to:
Image: Family Light by ©Catherine Greenwood