By September 2021, we had completed rapid discovery projects with Leeds City Council, City of York Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. Later in the Autumn 2021, we will begin longer-term partnerships with all three areas. Together, we will develop, design and test ideas for how innovation could transform early years services in each area.
The circumstances of our childhood set us on a path that affects the rest of our lives. Children born into disadvantage are more likely to experience poorer health, lower earnings and lower levels of happiness than their peers.
Inequalities appear early in life, often growing wider over time and having long-lasting effects. What’s more, the impact of COVID-19 on families and local services means that existing inequalities are growing (EPI, 2020; Sutton Trust, 2020), public services are under considerable additional pressure and there is a need for new ways of working.
But it doesn't have to be that way. If children and their families get the right support, particularly at crucial points in childhood, then it is possible to change lives.
To do this, we’re working with local partners to help trial, adapt and improve services to support children in their earliest years.
The programme forms part of our Fairer Start mission set out in our new strategy.
Through this programme, Nesta is building long-term innovation partnerships with local areas. This means bringing together a local area’s deep knowledge and new ideas – about their services, families, children and delivery contexts – with Nesta’s capabilities and experience of service innovation and improvement. The partnerships are formed around the shared mission of supporting the most disadvantaged children to reach school with a good level of social, emotional and cognitive development.
We will publish a report with the findings of the rapid discovery projects in November.
Details of the process through which set up these partnerships can be found here: