Best Beginnings works to inform and empower parents of all backgrounds during pregnancy to their child’s fifth birthday, giving them the knowledge and confidence to look after their mental and physical health and to give their children the best start in life. In collaboration with parents, professionals, other charities and academics, we develop, disseminate and evaluate our core service, the free NHS-approved Baby Buddy app.
Through personalised and empowering daily information and 300+ films, Baby Buddy guides parents through pregnancy and early childhood and links them to other support including the 24/7 Baby Buddy Crisis Messenger service. In-line with our commitment to reduce inequalities, Baby Buddy is a “Proportionate Universalism” intervention; universally available across the UK it is disproportionality used by parents whose voices are seldom heard and whose children are at increased risk of poor outcomes. Best Beginnings convened the Early Years Digital Partnership, of which Home-Start and the Parent-Infant Foundation are both members and sits on the steering group for the First 1001 Days Movement.
Home-Start is a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through their challenging times. We are there for parents when they need us most because childhood can’t wait. Home-Start works with families in communities right across the UK. Starting in the home, our approach is as individual as the people we’re helping. No judgement, it is just compassionate, confidential help and expert support.
Families struggling with postnatal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and many other issues receive the support of a volunteer who will spend around two hours a week in a family’s home supporting them in the ways they need. Across all four nations of the United Kingdom, 13,500 home-visiting volunteers support over 27,000 families and 56,000 children to transform their lives. There are almost 200 local, independent Home-Starts working in 71% of local authority areas across the UK. Home-Start UK sits on the steering group for the First 1001 Days Movement.
The Parent-Infant Foundation is the national charity proactively supporting the growth and quality of specialised parent-infant relationship teams across the UK. There are currently only 30 across the UK. These are infant mental health teams that work with families experiencing severe, complex and/or enduring difficulties in their early relationships, where babies’ emotional wellbeing and development is particularly at risk.
Through collaborative leadership we: grow more local teams and support the sustainability of existing ones; increase the quality of parent-infant teams; generate evidence to create a compelling case for further investment; campaign at the national level on behalf of babies and their families. The Parent-Infant Foundation also provides the secretariat to the First 1001 Days Movement, an alliance of over 140 organisations, of which we are also a member.