The fifth A Better Start Learning and Development event was held at The Kia Oval in London on 28th and 29th September 2017, putting a spotlight on pregnancy as a time of opportunity for improving Early Childhood Development outcomes. The event was co-hosted by LEAP Lambeth, and included all the A Better Start sites, representatives from the Big Lottery Fund and the Warwick Evaluation Consortium as well as parents and parent champions.
Key themes of the event were:
- The impact of the antenatal period on children's later development and
- Innovative ways to transform support in pregnancy
Key experts in the field of pregnancy delivered presentations, parallel workshops, a 'perspectives' panel-style session, breakout sessions for parents, a 'World Cafe' exercise, and opportunities to network and talk informally with attendees from other sites.
Parents who attended were invited to visit a local project to see how community involvement is working in practice as part of the event, and there were interactive group discussion and learning sessions through the use of 'Stormz' technology. A full agenda is available here.
Over the course of the two days, presentations were given by:
- Amy Buxton-Jennings, London Borough of Lambeth
- Professor Sir Michael Marmot, University College London (pre-recorded welcome address)
- Chris Cuthbert, Director of Development for A Better Start
- Professor Mark Hanson, University of Southampton
- Professor Rebecca Reynolds, University of Edinburgh
- Helen Martin, University of Glasgow
- Professor Sharon Dawe, Griffith University, Australia
- Professor Lucilla Poston, Kings College London
- Dr Ildiko Tombor, University College London
- Dr Ruth Bell, FUSE
- Honor Rhodes OBE,Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships
- Dr Carla Stover, University of South Florida and Yale
- Dr Nadja Reissland, Durham University
- Dr Camilla Rosan, Mental Health Foundation
- Robyn Nalty, Breastfeeding peer supporter in Lambeth
- Stephanie Marcus-Jones, LEAP parent champion
- Duncan Fisher OBE, The Family Initiative
- Nick Wilkie, NCT
- Hannah Rogers, Consultant midwife, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
- A Better Start parents via video 'vox pops'
Bringing together the research and materials presented at the event, we have compiled a comprehensive list of resources, publications and research on the opportunities of pregnancy.