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In November the NSPCC launched a new campaign, All Babies Count, calling on everyone to do more to prevent the neglect and abuse of babies. The launch of the campaign was accompanied by the publication of a new report, which includes new data on the numbers of babies at risk and the latest evidence about what can be done to reduce this risk. It also showcases promising interventions from around the world, and sets out key building blocks for policy makers.

NDNA are holding a sing along with the Wiggles on Friday 16 March at 11am as part of their campaign healthy body, happy me. NDNA’s annual campaign, which runs from 12 to 18 March 2012, promotes the importance of a healthy lifestyle for young children and aims to give children positive experiences of exercise and healthy living. To sign up to take part visit www.ndna.org.uk/campaigns

New research from the School Food Trust has highlighted the impact of learning to cook for children’s health. Evaluation of the charity’s Let’s Get Cooking schools programme – funded by the BIG Lottery – shows that that more than half of children and adults taking part (58 per cent) say they eat a healthier diet as a result and that 92 per cent use their new skills again at home. Read more here or contact the Trust for the full technical report.

Following the success of last year’s Learn, Explore, Debate events – designed to offer information on sector reforms and policy developments, and to create the space to explore timescales and their impact in practice, 4Children and Children England will be offering two additional sessions in Sunderland and Wimbourne.

 
Children England is developing an exciting approach to improving organisations and services within the Children, Young People and Families’ Voluntary Sector through a process of Peer Review, supported by the Department for Education.

The fully funded pilot stage is currently being set up and there is still time to get involved! Children England is particularly seeking organisations who wish to be reviewed, as well as senior staff, trustees and relevant public service officers or members who wish to be considered as peer reviewers.

4Children are running a campaign to prevent family crisis and ensure that parents and children have the support they need to flourish, even under the most difficult circumstances. As part of that campaign they are running a survey to highlight the excellent work done by children’s centres in regard to domestic violence.

Contact a Family are asking for views from the parents and families of disabled children – as to where Contact a Family should be focusing its work over the next five years.

Contact a Family are asking the public to contribute to the development of the Healthwatch England. Healthwatch England will be a national consumer champion that enables the collective views of the people who use health and social care services to influence national policy, advice and guidance. The Consultation on the regulations for Healthwatch England Membership will help ensure that the public have a strong national presence to represent their views and help drive up improvements across the NHS.

Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health (England) launched a ‘Child Health Outcomes Forum’ at the end of January 2012 – an equivalent to the NHS Future Forum for child health. An independent group of experts has been established to help develop a new strategy for improving care for children and young people.

I CAN, the children’s communication charity, is heading up the Department for Education’s Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) with consortium partners: Action for Children, The Children’s Society, The Pre-School Learning Alliance, Elklan CIC and The Office for Public Management, with development support from Impetus. ELDP’s overall aim is to ensure more young children develop the language skills they need to be school ready and to improve their life chances. The programme will target all pre-school children with a particular focus on 0-2 year olds and their families in England’s most disadvantaged areas. Evidence shows that children’s understanding and use of vocabulary at 2 is very strongly associated with their performance on entering primary school. ELDP is a flexible programme designed to build on the good practice in early language developed locally and through national initiatives such as the Every Child a Talker (ECAT) programme, the Hello campaign, and I CAN’s Early Talk programme. Funded by the Department for Education until April 2014, the programme aims to reach up to 16,000 practitioners in almost 4,000 Children’s Centres and early years settings, and over 196,000 families. Following the pilot phase of the programme in February/March 2012, ELDP will roll out across England from May 2012-April 2014. A series of two- day pilot training events are now taking place in five locations and we aim to have trained at least 80 hubs by the end of March. To find out how your local area or setting could benefit from ELDP, visit www.ican.org.uk/ELDP or telephone Sally McAllister at I CAN on 0207 843 2562. We have a few places available at our lead practitioner pilot training events in Warrington, Bristol, London and Birmingham, 23rd February -30th March – email ELDP@ican.org.uk if you are interested in attending.

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