As many of you will be aware, we are transforming the way we offer family services in Kent, in line with the Department for Education’s Start for Life programme. This is an exciting time of change, which will mean Kent’s parents and carers can more easily access the support they need.
This week we have reached the first milestone in the programme with publication of our initial Start for Life offer online and in print, with dedicated telephone support for residents who cannot easily access the internet. Start for Life is concerned with the first 1001 days of a child’s life (pregnancy – age 2 years), which are crucial for healthy development. You can find Start for Life at www.kent.gov.uk/startforlife.
In addition, we are asking parents and carers to sign up for our Parent Carer Panel to help us co-design the Start for Life programme in Kent and in their local areas. It’s so important that services are designed alongside the people who will use them and we’re very excited to begin this programme of recruitment. You can find the panel sign up form at www.kent.gov.uk/parentcarerpanel.
Posters and leaflets are also attached. We would be very grateful if you could share these materials in your buildings and elsewhere in your networks. Print copies of posters and leaflets will follow. We will be posting on KCC social channels over the coming days and weeks and would be grateful if you could share these on your own channels too. If you would prefer social media content to post direct, please request via Hayley Buery, copied here.
We’re at an early stage in developing these services – and the information we have shared with you reflects that. The real work in co-designing them with colleagues, partners and our service users starts now.
We are also embarking on an exciting digital programme to see where we can make best use of technology to help parents and carers access help when and where they need it and avoid the need for them to go to multiple people and organisations to do so. We will keep you updated as we proceed.