The purple family hubs graphic has a pink house on it and doodle drawings of parents and children.

Start for Life programme is helping children in Hull achieve better outcomes

Ofsted and the CQC have published a joint review, praising the success of the Start for Life programme which Hull has been a key part of.

The government announced funding for the Start for Life programme back in 2021. Through family hubs, it offers a range of services to support parents from pregnancy until their baby is two years old, including birth registration, health visits, parenting courses, infant feeding, and speech and language support.

Hull was one of the local authorities who won funding to become a trailblazer for the programme when it launched.

The new report is based on research visits to six of the areas involved, including Hull.

The report found that most families have a positive experience with the scheme and highlights several examples of good practice that are making a positive impact on child health outcomes.

Families who accessed a family hub reported feeling more confident when feeding their babies and in their perinatal mental health. They also believed their children went on to have better outcomes.

The report highlights that, across the six areas that were visited for research, there was a consistent and ambitious vision to deliver joined-up services, which families were overwhelmingly positive about.

Councillor Linda Tock, the portfolio holder for Children’s Services at Hull City Council said: “We know how important those early years are for children and their families.

“We’re proud to be a trailblazer for the programme, which has made it easier for parents, carers, children and young people to access the support they need and helping to give babies the best start in life.”

Yvette Stanley, National Director of Regulation and Social Care at Ofsted, said: “The care and support a child receives in the first few years of their life helps them thrive throughout their childhood and beyond. Start for Life services offer families vital support to help every child get off to the best possible start.

“I’m very pleased that many families have had a positive experience using these services. I hope this review helps local services continue to improve the support families receive in the first few years of their child’s life.”

Lucy Harte, Deputy Director for Multiagency Operations at the CQC, said: “Local health care professionals, working alongside and with other services can make a real difference to the way that children and their families are supported and develop. Hearing from families about the value of support they have received is deeply encouraging and a testament to those caring people working in services – the challenge now is to learn from this.”

More information about the review can be found here.

A Hull City Council worker seen from behind wearing a high-visibility jacket emblazoned with the "Love Your Neighbourhood" logo. In the background is a spring scene in a British street
The Guildhall in Hull, with Charles Wilson statue in the foreground