A National Children’s Bureau report
“Simply by growing up in a certain part of England a child under five is more likely to have poor health that will impact the rest of their lives”
The report shows that tens of thousands of children under the age of five are obese, experience tooth decay, suffer injuries or do not develop well before starting school.
The report explores variations in the health and development of young children across local authorities and regions in England, and shows that:
- There is startling variation in young children’s outcomes at regional and local authority level. For example a five-year old in Leicester is over five times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than one of their peers in West Sussex, and if the North West had the same outcomes as the South East it would have around 5,500 more children achieving a good level of development by the end of Reception
- Young children growing up in deprived areas tend to do worse than those living in less deprived areas. If all local authorities had similar outcomes to the most affluent areas, we could avoid tens of thousands of incidents of early childhood obesity, tooth decay and injury
- However, significantly, it is not inevitable that children in poor areas fare worse than those in more prosperous areas. There are a number of very deprived local authorities where young children are doing as well as, or better than, the national average.