The Public Health Agency’s commitment to giving every child the best start is off to a good start. The issue of the “real brain drain” in the 0–3 year age group has attracted attention from around 250 individuals and organisations attending the PHA Early Years Interventions conference taking place on Tuesday 31 May 2011 at the Octagon, King’s Hall, Balmoral.
The conference programme will include leading international experts. David Olds, American founder of the innovative Family Nurse Partnership programme, locally funded by the PHA and now operating in the Western Trust area; Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, sharing exciting research findings on brain development, the role of antenatal and early years support in improving later life benefits; and Alan Sinclair, focusing on the economic benefits of early years interventions and local community-based case studies from Derry, the Colin area and the greater Shankill, in Belfast.
Speaking about the conference, Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health/Medical Director, PHA, said: “There is strong evidence from worldwide research that investment in those early years of a child’s life gives them a much better chance for good health, education, employment and overall life experience – so it is vital that we invest in our children and their families. The conference brings together the best international research, the regional Family Nurse Partnership programme and local community initiatives to stimulate debate and plan the way forward”.
Conference delegates include senior figures from many government departments, health and social care, early years, education, community and voluntary and academic sectors, each realising the crucial role early years interventions play, not only for the individual children and families themselves, but also for all of society.
This work builds on the important steps that the PHA has been taking to develop effective prevention programmes, working in partnership with the Health and Social Care Board, trusts and the community, voluntary sectors.
Contact the PHA Press Office on: (028) 9031 1611. Out of Hours: 07792 948641.
Notes to the editor
Speaker profiles and further information about the conference can be found at: http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/event/early-years-interventions-conference
Early years interventions conference, 31 May 2011, The Octagon Suite, King’s Hall, Balmoral, Belfast, BT9 6GU
The conference programme runs from 9:00am – 4:30pm
- Experts available for interview, through PHA Press Office:
- Dr Carolyn Harper, PHA Early years lead
- David Olds, US founder Family Nurse Partnership
- Mary Hinds, PHA lead Family Nurse Partnership
- Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Brain development research, Dundee University
- Alan Sinclair, Economic impact, Fellow at the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing, Scotland
- This conference has been organised with support from Association of Infant Mental Health, a regional group of statutory and community bodies working in partnership to enhance early years outcomes for local people across Northern Ireland, and the National Children’s Bureau, Northern Ireland.