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Key issues: Infant Mortality, Early Years Education

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. Good parenting and high-quality early learning provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities as they grow up. (Source: Early Years Foundation Service (EYFS), 2017).

Overview of key trends: 


Key headlines:

  • Infant mortality rates have reduced in last 2 years, and now closer to national. Despite improvements, Staffordshire still has the highest rate amongst similar authorities. 

  • Smoking in pregnancy and low breastfeeding levels are key infant mortality risk factors.

  • Strong early years educational performance (no 2020 comparator), outperforming national and similar authorities.

  • Rising number eligible for Free School Meals suggesting more children living in poorer households, with over 4,800 pupils becoming eligible since the first COVID-19 lockdown.

  • Qualitative insights report a lasting impact on Staffordshire’s children as a result of the pandemic; particularly missed development and learning of under 5s. 

To view the latest Data Update on this topic see the data update page

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