The Importance of Conception to Age Two

1001 critical days for a best start in life




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

Download West Sussex's Early Years Needs Assessment

Manifesto and Pledge

Parent resources

Parent 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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