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The impact of the economic downturn and policy changes on health inequalities in london

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Sir Michael Marmot's
IHE team

Education and Early Years Development

Children and Young People's Development


The early years are a key determinant of health. The Marmot Review recognised this in its priority policy objective - 'Give every child the best start in life' - which is crucial to reducing health inequalities across the life course, and other social and economic inequalities throughout life. The foundations for virtually every aspect of human development - physical, intellectual and emotional - are laid in early childhood. What happens during these early years (starting in the womb) has lifelong effects on many aspects of health and well-being - from obesity, heart disease and mental health, to educational achievement and economic status.

Inequalities in education and skills also affect physical and mental health, as well as income, employment and quality of life. To achieve equity from the start, investment in the early years is crucial. However, reducing inequalities across the gradient also requires a sustained commitment to children and young people through continued family support, education, training and employment. Attempts to reduce the social gradient in skills and qualifications should involve collaborative work that involves schools, families and communities.

Here you can find examples of activities, programmes and reports that focus on the early years, within family, educational, community and health settings. These case studies often take cross-sector holistic approaches and vary from pre-birth programmes to a variety of interventions focussed on the school years.

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