The Strong Foundations initiative is a collaboration between PwC Australia, the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), Bupa Australia, Bupa Health Foundation and the Centre for Community Child Health and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI).
The first thousand days refers to the period from conception to age two. New research has started to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the processes by which genes, experiences and environments interact to influence development at this time. In this context the Strong Foundations initiative was formed to raise policy maker awareness, raise public awareness and create a united, evidence based narrative about the importance of the first thousand days.
This report follows on from the Evidence Paper published in September 2017, which outlined the nature and significance of development during pregnancy and infancy, the ways in which experiences in this time period shape development and the long term consequences of these experiences for health, wellbeing, learning and development throughout the life course.
The PwC authored report released this week by the collaboration, The first thousand days: A case for investment, builds on the evidence base by presenting an economic analysis of improved early childhood outcomes for two scenarios relating to improved antenatal care and housing stabilities. The report’s findings illustrate the potential large economic and social benefits to Australia of investing in this crucial development period.