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Barnardos children's charity has welcomed the announcement that parents of newborn babies will be provided with a 'baby box' full of essential items as part of a National Early Years Strategy. The charity is eagerly awaiting the publication of the full strategy which it hopes will be progressive and comprehensive.
Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos said: "We are delighted to see Minister Zappone's plans to include the provision of a 'baby box' to parents of newborn babies as part of the National Early Years Strategy. The boxes are indeed a practical support for all parents, providing essential items for a child's first weeks, but they are also a powerful symbol of a new approach to supporting families in their earliest years. Supporting parents to be the best they can be is the best way to improve children's development, wellbeing and outcomes."
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said: "The National Early Years Strategy is long awaited and much needed. Barnardos has been long calling for a progressive early years strategy which will provide comprehensive services and supports to young children and their families. This strategy should offer support to parents through providing timely community and public based family support services; it should support children to reach their developmental milestones through the provision of home visits by public health nurses and it should ensure that all parents and families have access to affordable quality childcare and education. The potential gains to the child, family and wider society are significant once children and families are supported in their earliest years."