1001 Critical Days

The Importance of Conception to Age Two




The 1001 Critical Days Manifesto for West Sussex is a promise to all infants and parents in the county, a commitment to ensure all babies have the best possible start in life.

It promises to put families at the heart of all practices and is unanimously supported by councillors and early year’s services across the county.

The Manifesto, launched in March 2017, highlights the importance of the first 1001 days from when a baby is conceived until age two. This period of life is crucial to increase a child’s life chances.

Special thanks to the national 1001 Critical Days Manifesto, which you can find details of at www.1001criticaldays.co.uk.

Download West Sussex's Early Years Needs Assessment

Innovation & Provider Event

Innovation & Provider Event

We want to hear from you if you think you have something unique to offer and are willing to spend a day working with commissioners, innovators and other experts to talk about ideas and ways to improve readiness for school from pre-birth to under 5 years old and for parents aged under 20. 

We welcome the participation of a range of interested professionals and groups - for example organisations delivering maternity services, early years child care, pre-school, schools, young parents support (mothers and fathers) and children’s social care services, NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), social innovators and voluntary / community groups.

The Innovation and Provider Event – Thursday 8 February 2018

‘The Best Start in Life’

Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham RH12 1JF– 10am-4pm

Help us to re-imagine approaches to improve outcomes for children and families.  There will be a focus at the workshop on early intervention and prevention.

To book your place please email thinkfamily@westsussex.gov.uk and include the following details:

Contact details:
Area of Interest or Expertise:
Big ideas/links you can share ahead of time:

Manifesto & Pledge

Other resources

Other resources

Baby Buddy:

Are you a parent or parent-to-be? Try out the Baby Buddy app from Best Beginnings, a multi-award winning free app. The app has been designed with parents and professionals to help you give your baby the best start in life and support your health and wellbeing. It’s a personal baby expert who will guide you through your pregnancy and the first six months of your baby’s life. The app can support you on your emotional, physical and social journey through pregnancy and becoming a new parent. Once you’ve created your buddy, you will be able to access a wide range of short films, track services and groups near you, find out useful facts and information specific to your child each day, keep track of your appointments and keep photo memories of your baby growing up and much more!

You can download Baby Buddy for free on Google Play and in the App Store, and there is also a web version of Baby Buddy.

Five to Thrive:

Your child's body grows better when you give the child good food. Your child's brain grows better when you do five simple things.

Respond * Cuddle * Relax * Play * Talk

More information can be found here.


Action plan

Action plan

The manifesto will only work if it is supported by activities that make a difference. That is why over the coming year, we will be publishing a summary of all the activities that are taking place, and all the organisations that have pledged their support.

We will provide updates about what is happening in West Sussex so we know it’s making a difference.

  • Launch – Thursday 2 March 2017

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