Early years campaigners have used the launch of National Sure Start Month to call for more to be done to promote healthy eating and exercise for young children, bringing coverage up to the amount aimed at teenagers.
Five key childcare organisations are taking part in activities throughout June to celebrate the achievements of Sure Start. Over 170 MPs are also expected to take part in events, including ministers from the Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health and the Treasury.
The National Childminding Association-run National Childminding Week, which will take place from 17 to 24 June, will include organised fun walks and sporting events, and NCMA will be highlighting the need for healthy eating from an early age. An Ofsted report published earlier this year found that almost three-quarters of registered childminders were judged as good or outstanding on food and nutrition.
NCMA chief executive Liz Bayram said: “Registered childminders provide childcare and early education for over 360,000 children in England and Wales, and one of the important ways they do this can be by encouraging the children to have a healthy lifestyle.
“Children deserve the best start in life and research shows that good health in childhood is an important building block for good health in later life.”
Agreeing that more should be done for young children, a spokesperson for the Pre-School Learning Alliance added: “There is a general concern about fitness and healthy eating during the early years, but this has not had as much coverage as for older children.”