A joint venture between Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, and Hywel Dda University Health Board, in conjunction with third sector partners, has launched a plan to “establish integrated maternity and early years services for every child.”

The Maternity and Early Years Strategy 2022-26 was launced on 1 March.

A report said the Strategy “aims to establish integrated maternity and early years services for every child, through close collaboration between local authorities, third sector partners, and health professionals.”

“Integrating services and identifying needs early are at the centre of the approach to improve outcomes and experiences for children and their families,” the report added.

Delegates to the launch of the Maternity and Early Years Strategy 2022-26 heard from inspirational speakers who presented their cases for transforming maternity and early years services to provide seamless and timely support to families across the region.

University of Oxford's Dr. Iram Siraj OBE emphasised the significance of early childhood development and the requirement for integrated services; underlying the significance of multi-agency collaboration, stakeholder involvement, and early identification of children who are at-risk. She also talked about the financial difficulties families face in accessing affordable childcare.

With an emphasis on the First 1000 Days programme in Wales, Amy McNaughton, Public Health Consultant for the First 1000 Days Programme, stressed the importance of a public health strategy for assisting parents.

Director of the Centre for Early Child Development, Claire Law, highlighted the value of a place-based approach for improving outcomes for children and their families.

The joint venture said the launch event “was also an opportunity to display how families and professionals across the regional had benefitted from a place based integrated model of delivering maternity and early years services” and marked the “beginning of a very exciting journey.”

Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health Cllr Jane Tremlett said: "It is an honour to witness the launch of a strategy that will provide essential support and opportunities to those in need.

“The conference was filled with remarkable individuals who serve as inspiration for our continued efforts. Together, we are creating a community where every family and child can succeed.”