The Health Priorities were developed in response to the findings from two major pieces of research:

The Marmot review highlighted the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles as early as possible. Recent research shows that the first 1000 days are the most important – this is from conception to the second birthday.

There are many opportunities for promoting health in Early Years:

  • Values and aims of the setting
  • Relationship and interactions with parents
  • Experiences offered for children and families
  • Uptake of free early education places:
    • Targeted places for 2 year olds
    • Universal places 3-4 years

The Bristol Standard team works closely with health colleagues and we are delighted that health is woven throughout the Birth to Five 6th edition. A gap was identified for an integrated framework to support health and early working collaboratively to deliver guidance such as:

The Healthy Child Programme
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children Centre Core Purpose

In view of the many health issues that need to be covered and reflected on the Bristol Standard team has developed the Bristol Standard for Health to pilot. This will allow settings to reflect more deeply on ten public health issues that are important to their particular setting. This project was led by Jessica Williams, Public Health Principal in Early Years and written collaboratively by health and early year’s professionals.

The ten Health priorities are:

  • Oral health
  • Immunisation
  • Unintentional injury
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy eating
  • Domestic abuse
  • Risky behaviours (alcohol or drug misuse)
  • Smoke free environment
  • Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Working with young parents

The framework is used in the same way as the Birth to Five and Play documents as settings can choose which priorities they wish to do according to the health focus for their setting. The Health Priorities will not be produced in hard copy but will be available on the Early Years website once the final edits have been completed. Settings use the e-submission paperwork and submit via our secure site, Alfresco.

Researchers from Bristol University have been carrying out an evaluation study of the pilot and once their report has been sent to the Bristol Standard development Group in the autumn we will be able to make the framework more widely available.

Anticipated next steps are:

  • Further roll out to more settings
  • Involving Childminders
  • Bristol Standard for Health Play Framework

This is an innovative development and there is no other framework available that covers the number of health priorities. We look forward to working with more settings next year.

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What people say about The Bristol Standard Health Priorities

We are now much more aware of the benefits of physical activity to improve long term health, cognitive functioning and school readiness.”

What people say about The Bristol Standard Health Priorities

Completing the Bristol Standard for Health has encouraged practitioners to reflect freely on health and well-being and we are now promoting this with the children.”

What people say about The Bristol Standard Health Priorities

“It has given us the opportunity to continuously reflect on improving the quality of our care and education for our school and raise awareness for the children of the topics we have chosen.”

What people say about The Bristol Standard Health Priorities

“Parents are now more aware of potential risks in their homes and the wider community, so children are less likely to suffer unintentional injury.”

The Bristol Standard Health Priorities