Great minds meet in NSW to discuss important first years of child’s life

NSW Department of Education

The first 2,000 days of a child’s life is the centrepiece of a two-day summit kicking-off today that will bring together some of the world’s best professional minds, as the NSW Department of Education moves to expand its programs and services that support child development from pregnancy through to the school years. Health, education and social services professionals will engage with Australian and international experts, key Ministers and Executive Directors, with around $375.6 million to be invested over 4 years to expand the Brighter Beginnings initiative to ensure the best life outcomes for every child in NSW. Deputy Secretary of Early Childhood Outcomes, Gillian White said she is excited to attend the virtual event on the 31 October, along with other ministers and agencies, as they collaborate to deliver a raft of game-changing initiatives for children and families. “The Brighter Beginnings First 2,000 Days Summit will see some of the greatest minds in this space share the latest research and evidence on programs that support children and their families in the early years,” she said.

“The first 2,000 days of a child’s life can build the foundations for lifelong health, wellbeing and learning.”

“Over 1 million new neural connections form every second in the first few years of life. Brain growth at this time is strongly influenced by what is happening in each child’s environment and the people around them.”

The Deputy Secretary said the flagship Brighter Beginnings initiative is part of the NSW Government’s $15.9 billion Early Years Commitment and is designed to give families the tools, information and support to make the most of opportunities for development every day.

“Getting it right, early, has lifelong benefits for every child and is the most important thing we can do to break the cycle of disadvantage for vulnerable children.”

“A key initiative of Brighter Beginnings is to bring developmental checks into NSW preschools in partnership with health professionals from 2023, providing potentially thousands of parents with vital health information that they may currently be missing out on to help ensure the best start in life for their child,” she said.

As part of NSW Budget 2022-23, key Brighter Beginnings initiatives include:

  • Development checks for children in early childhood education settings providing a preschool program
  • Expansion of the Pregnancy Family Conferencing program
  • Expansion of the Sustaining NSW Families program
  • Expansion of Aboriginal Child and Family Centres
  • Development of the clinical component of the Digital Baby Book.

The First 2,000 Days summit will run from October 31 to November 1.

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/Public Release.