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First 2000 Days

About

The first 2000 days of life is a critical time for physical, cognitive, social and emotional health. What happens in the first 2000 days has been shown to have an impact throughout life.​​

For example, early life experiences are:

  • strongly predictive of how a child will learn in primary school
  • a predictor of school performance, adolescent pregnancy and involvement with the criminal justice system in the adolescent years
  • linked to increased risk of drug and alcohol misuse and increased risk of antisocial and violent behaviour
  • related to obesity, elevated blood pressure and depression in 20-40 year olds
  • predictive of coronary heart disease and diabetes in 40-60 year olds
  • related to premature ageing and memory loss in older age groups.

Dr Elisabeth Murphy explains the importance of the first 2000 days and actions that can be taken to improve life-long outcomes. Transcript: The first 2000 days of life – Dr Elisabeth Murphy

The framework

The First 2000 Days Framework is a strategic policy document which outlines the importance of the first 2000 days of a child’s life (from conception to age 5) and what action people within the NSW health system need to take to ensure that all children have the best possible start in life.

The framework incorporates a range of policies, programs, services and models of care to make sure that the right health services are available for everyone.​​

Implementation strategy

The First 2000 Days Framework Implementation Strategy is a strategic document which will guide NSW Health’s implementation of the First 2000 Days Framework (PD2019_008).

The implementation strategy will assist local health districts and speciality health networks in implementing the First 2000 Days Framework, including providing information to assist them in developing their local plans.

Evidence review

The evidence review highlights the importance of the first 2000 days of life for lifetime physical, social and emotional health outcomes and what parents and professionals can do to support a child’s development.

Webinar Series and Resources

First 2000 Days webinar series aims to build capacity of service providers and health professionals to provide support and referral pathways to families and young children in the First 2000 Days of life.

The series is a collaboration between MNCLHD Health Services and Bluesky Community Services.

This project aims to:

  • Increase knowledge of the first 2000 days and priority health areas.
  • Increase confidence to engage in conversations about priority health areas.
  • Increase confidence to refer to the right level of service at the right time.
  • Increase knowledge of and referral pathways to local health services and programs.

There’s 13 sessions within the webinar series, click here to view and register.

2021 Webinar Outcomes

119 participants across 19 mid north coast services attended the 2021 pilot webinar series. The outcomes from the 2021 series included many participants agreeing that the sessions were interactive, informative and increased their knowledge and skills to support families and young children. 

Jody Clayton is the Child Protection and Child Wellbeing Co-ordinator for the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Jody’s session will outline the importance of the first 2000 days of a child’s life, and actions that can be taken to promote better life outcomes. It will also build awareness of referral services and programs to support families and children.

View the presentation on the First 2000 Days overview.

Links to resources referred to in webinar 1:

Frances Guy is the Clinician Midwifery Consultant (CMC) for Maternity Services with the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Frances’ session will focus on the importance of antenatal care in the first 2000 days of life. It will also provide in-depth information on how to access local antenatal services to help families make ongoing healthier lifestyle changes.

View the presentation on antenatal care.

Links to resources referred to in webinar 2:

Bri-Ellen Fussell is a Health Promotion Officer and Dietician with the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Bri-Ellen’s session will focus on the Get Healthy in Pregnancy (GHiP) Service. GHiP is a free NSW Government service which offers a phone-based health coach to support pregnant woman to develop motivation and tools to help them and their babies to stay healthy during their journey from pregnancy, to birth and beyond. This session will build your knowledge of the service and confidence to refer to the service.

View the presentation on Get Healthy in Pregnancy.

Links to resources referred to in webinar 3:

Elizabeth Crane is a Child and Family Health Nurse and Lactation Consultant based in the Coffs Clinical Network. Elizabeth’s session will focus on the importance of early breastfeeding in the first 2000 days of life. It will also provide information on strategies to support families with early breastfeeding and how to access local Child and Family Services and Breastfeeding Support Services.

View the presentation on Early Breastfeeding

Links to resources referred to in webinar 4:

Monica Carlon is the Nurse Unit Manager of Tresillian Day Services Coffs Harbour and Tresillian-2U mobile service. Monica’s session will focus on sleep and settling in the early years. It will also include an overview of how to access specialised parenting services and how they help families to improve parenting confidence and parent child relationships.

View the presentation on Sleep and Settling.

Links to resources referred to in webinar 5:

Rachel Gerathy is a Health Promotion Officer and Dietician. She works on the PICNIC project and is based in Coffs Clinical Network. Symone Lindsey is a Child and Family Health Nurse and Midwife based in Coffs Clinical Network.

This session will focus on child nutrition and the importance of forming short and long-term diet patterns and eating behaviour during the first 2000 days. You will gain the knowledge and skills to implement feeding practices which determine child feeding behaviour and diet quality and assist problematic eaters in the care environment.

Resources mentioned in webinar 6

Paris Bebb and Louise Scott are both Child and Family Health Nurses and midwives based in the Coffs Clinical Network, with over 15 years’ experience in these fields.

This session will focus on the role of the Child and Family Health Nurse and the importance of supporting families to access this service in the first 2000 days. It will also focus on building your knowledge and confidence to support families and carers to access Child and Family Health Services.

Resources mentioned in webinar 7:

Angeline Landry is a Clinical Psychologist and is the District Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service (PIMHS) Clinical Lead and the District Safe Start Coordinator for the MNCLHD. Angeline manages a small team across the district who offer tertiary consultation and liaison services to Mental Health Services and all services working in the perinatal space, facilitating referral pathways, assessment advice & complex care planning whilst capacity building across the district.

This session will focus on attachment, trust, and an infant’s emotional growth in the context of the parent-infant dyad. The presentation will also build awareness of and confidence in knowing what questions to ask, which indicators to look for, and then where to refer parents who are experiencing mental health concerns during the perinatal period.

Resources mentioned in webinar 8:

View the presentation on Oral Health.

Vanessa Amos is the District Oral Health Program Coordinator and is the Senior Oral Health Therapist for the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Vanessa graduated with distinction from the University of Newcastle Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy program and was awarded the NSW Rural Allied Health Undergraduate Scholarship in 2018. Vanessa has 15 years’ experience in the dental industry working in numerous roles which she feels has contributed to her growth as a clinician. Vanessa grew up in the region and is delighted to be working on the Mid North Coast.

This session will focus on the importance of good Oral Health in the first 2000 days of life. It will also focus on the risk factors that cause dental caries and strategies to prevent and manage dental caries and disease. Further, it will increase your knowledge of and confidence to refer to public dental services.

Michele Greenwood started the nurse-led Refugee Health Clinic at the Coffs Harbour Hospital  in February 2006. The clinic offers initial health assessments to all newly arrived Humanitarian Refugees settling in Coffs Harbour as well as ongoing support and advocacy for the refugee/ multicultural community.

This session will highlight the difficulties that humanitarian refugees face when settling in Australia and what you can do as professionals to support these families in their health journey.

View the presentation on Refugee Health.

Resources mentioned in webinar 10:

Coming soon

Melinda Ricketts is the Mid North Coast Local Health District Smoking Cessation Coordinator and a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. Belinda Jackson, also known as BJ, is the Coffs Clinical Network Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer. Both Melinda and BJ build capacity of health professionals and service providers (NGO’s and Aboriginal Organisations) to support Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients with undertaking smoking cessation. They both also support community members to quit smoking through Nicotine Replacement Therapy and referral to Quitline.

View the presentation on smoking in pregnancy.

This session aims to provide you with the understanding of how to support clients to consider stopping smoking or assisting someone who is on their journey to become smoke free, acknowledging that stopping smoking can be extremely challenging for both support workers and clients.

Resources mentioned in Webinar 12:

  • Quitline 13 78 48
  • QuitBuddy phone app
  • Quitly.Bot Facebook Messenger service
  • Local GP or Health Worker (prescription for Nicotine Replacement patches/lozenges/gum)

View the presentation on Self-Regulation, Physical Activity and Screen Time.

Jenny Wehlow has a background in Nutrition and works in Health Promotion MNCLHD. She is currently working in early childhood interventions including Munch & Move which supports Early childhood services, educators and parents to improve dietary intake and increase physical activity in children. Gillian Bright is a paediatric occupational therapist at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital.

Gillian Bright heads a small team of occupational therapists providing outpatient services to children in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca and Bowraville regions. The service focuses on supporting children to achieve to their best potential in their occupations.

This session will focus on the importance of self-regulation for social, emotional, educational and behavioural growth and development in childhood. It will also focus on how physical activity and reduced screen time can support long term health and wellbeing. It will focus on building your knowledge of programs in the community, such as Occupational Therapy and Munch and Move, that help to support holistic health and wellbeing of children as they grow.

Resources mentioned in Webinar 13:

Self Regulation videos on Youtube:

For more information contact Teisha Schirmer
teisha.schirmer@health.nsw.gov.au

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