Home > A whole-of-Government strategy for babies, young children and their families 2019-2028.

Ireland. Department of Children and Youth Affairs. (2018) A whole-of-Government strategy for babies, young children and their families 2019-2028. Dublin: Government of Ireland.

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The ambitious ten-year plan will deliver:
1. A broader range of options for parents to balance working and caring
2. A new model of parenting support
3. New developments in child health, including a dedicated child health workforce
4. Reform of the Early Learning and Care (ELC) system, including a new funding model
5. A package of measures to tackle early childhood poverty.

P.62 Objective 4
Parents, families and communities will be supported to engage in and promote positive health behaviours among babies and young children, starting from the pre-conception period.

The foundation for good child health is laid before and during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy, for example, is linked to risks of developmental difficulties and chronic diseases in early childhood and beyond. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have a serious impact on foetal brain development. Data from Growing Up in Ireland indicates that 18% of women smoke cigarettes and 20% consume alcohol at some stage in their pregnancy

P.66 Tobacco Free Ireland, the report of the Tobacco Policy Review Group, sets a target for Ireland to be tobacco free by 2025, with the protection of children prioritised. Legislation to ban smoking in places where children are present has been enacted (as is the case of smoking in cars) or is planned, and local authorities are engaged in a range of activities to make children’s playgrounds, parks and beaches smoke-free.

Creating a Better Future Together, National Maternity Strategy 2016–2026, provides the framework for a new and better maternity service.

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery: A Health-Led Response to Drug and Alcohol Use in Ireland 2017–2025 includes actions to mitigate risk and reduce the impact of parental substance misuse on babies and young children.

Strategic Actions
The following Strategic Actions have been identified to meet Objective 4.
4.1 Promote and support positive health behaviours among pregnant women, babies, young children and their families.
4.2 Integrate health behaviour supports and services into child-serving settings and the wider community.
4.3 Promote child safety and prevent unintentional injuries to babies and young children.

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