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Norfolk selected for national Early Years Transformation Academy

15 April 2019

Norfolk is to become a pioneer in transforming maternity and early years services after being selected for a new national programme.

Norfolk is one of five areas to take part in the new Early Years Transformation Academy (EYTA), led by The Early Intervention Foundation.

The successful bid was led by Norfolk County Council, supported by Norfolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups.  It means that organisations working across health and maternity services will work even more closely to strengthen how they work in partnership to improve children’s lives.

By working with the EYTA, the maternity and early years services want to ensure that:

  1. More children having a better birth as a result of good maternal and paternal health (mental and physical)
  2. More children develop in line with their developmental milestones, especially those from our most disadvantaged communities
  3. Fewer children aged 0-5 experience neglect or emotional harm
  4. More families experience social mobility

Sara Tough, Executive Director of Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, said:  “We want children in Norfolk to get the very best start, ensuring they get the right support, healthcare and education early on.

“This is at the heart of our ambition to join up how services support families, including our new early childhood and family service – taking services to families, using evidence to target our work better and improving outcomes for children and families that need our support.

“By working with the EYTA we can develop this still further, working across early childhood, maternity and health services to get the very best for Norfolk’s children.”

The five participating areas in 2019/20 were chosen through a competitive process, from 18 areas across England who initially expressed interest in the programme.

Norfolk was the only area in the east to be selected.

Donna Molloy, Director of Policy and Practice at the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), said:

“The Academy is ultimately about supporting local areas to apply the evidence to their early years systems and services.  The early years are a crucial time for children’s development, when evidence-based early intervention can make a big difference.  But we know that finding time to consider the evidence, while also continuing to deliver services, can be difficult.

"EIF is committed to developing effective ways of supporting those locally to use the evidence.  The academy is designed to bring local partners together, with time and space to understand the evidence on what works to improve outcomes for children, explore new approaches and consolidate their existing provision.”

The EYTA is led by EIF with academy partners The Staff College, Born in Bradford and Better Start Bradford.

Over 12 months, the Academy will involve a combination of online learning, face-to-face design workshops and practical application in participating areas, with support from EIF, academy partners and other Academy participants.  The four major areas of learning and development focus on preparing for change, identifying vulnerable populations, system planning and measuring impact.

The 12-month EYTA begins at the end of April with senior representatives from the five participating areas and the academy partners meeting in London.

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