Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
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Ofsted and CQC to review Start for Life services

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Care Quality Commission

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will carry out a joint review of support services for parents from conception until their baby is aged 2 years old.

The government commissioned review, which will include services delivered through the family hub model, will make recommendations to help improve families’ experiences of the services. The full terms of reference for the review have been published today.

See the ‘Terms of reference’.

Start for Life services include a range of services such as health visits and infant feeding support. Family hubs bring these services together to provide families with joined-up support.

As part of the review, Ofsted and the CQC will visit a small sample of volunteer local authorities to hear directly from families and carers using the services to find out about their experiences. They will also consider views from local area leaders and professionals involved with delivering Start for Life services about their progress and to consider the local circumstances of each area.

Yvette Stanley, National Director of Regulation and Social Care, said:

We know how important the first few years are in equipping children with the tools they need to thrive in early childhood and beyond. These services are essential to making sure every family has access to the support they need.

This review will help support our understanding of how effectively these services are working and ensure every child gets the best start in life.

Nigel Thompson, Deputy Director for Multiagency Operations at CQC, said:

We know that being able to access caring, responsive and effective support from local services during pregnancy and childhood improves child and parental wellbeing.

This review allows us to work with parents, carers, professionals and area leaders to understand what works for families and what is required to make sure every child gets the support they need.

Notes to Editors

  1. The review will only consider the experiences of families during the Start for Life period, from conception to age 2.
  2. The review will conclude by the end of summer 2023.
  3. See the full terms of reference.

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