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 of 2021, we began longer-term partnerships with all three areas in a £1.5 million project. Together, we began to 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.
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 with Leeds, York and Stockport 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 and were set up based on the principles of making a difference using measurable impact.
Read our report, published in November 2021.
How we empowered local authorities to use data to improve impact.