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A bright, easy to read support for the early years sector

Kim Roberts, Chief Executive of HENRY, and Mary Rudolf, a consultant paediatrician and professor of child health, have come together to create ‘A Healthy Start’.

‘A Healthy Start’ combines clinical and educational expertise, bringing together parenting, early years and health as one into a sturdy, best practice handbook.

Theresa Johnson, Professional Development Manager –

“Following the publication of the obesity strategy and reference to the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines in the EYFS, there has never been a greater need for a resource such as this. This book offers a holistic view of the importance of children’s health. The book captures the reader’s interest from the start by focusing on the “window of opportunity” and recognises the valuable role that parents and early years practitioners play. Each chapter is clear, bright, easy to read and offers practical examples and offers the reader further reading opportunities.”   

Pauline Williams, Quality Assurance Officer -

“’A Healthy Start’ is an informative book that is aimed at childcare and health practitioners who work with families of under 5s. Written by HENRY’s CEO and a knowledgeable paediatrician, ‘A Healthy Start’ focuses on the need to ensure the best beginning for children from birth onwards.  In fact, Chapter 4 even discusses this need from the point of conception. Each Chapter ends with relevant references and resources and further reading for both practitioners and parents. The book is brought together by the personal accounts of mothers, health visitors, midwives, etc.  With the wealth of information available from varying sources I think this book teases out the root knowledge needed to provide children with a healthy start.”

PACEY spoke to HENRY Chief Executive, Kim Roberts about ‘A Healthy Start’:

What made you want to write this book?

Our focus over the last 10 years, working with parents, childcare practitioners and health visitors has really shown that a healthy start in life isn’t just about food and exercise. This learning was the starting point for ‘A Healthy Start’ which pulls together different strands into one holistic, reader friendly and accessible handbook for the early years workforce.

We wanted practitioners to have a resource they could trust, by making sure national organisations such as Public Health England reviewed the content, so practitioners can provide consistent information as well as evidence-based tools created from our experience of working with families.

What is your favourite part about the book?

It would be really hard to answer this, I have a few favourites. I really enjoyed how we linked the whole book together, starting at the beginning, looping through different aspects of a healthy start and making it flow through the early years. The first chapter in particular, about the importance of the early years is a real springboard for the rest of the book.

As a key audience for PACEY, is this something that childminders can apply within their home-based settings?

We are very aware that childcare practitioners make a major contribution to children’s start in life and bring together a healthy lifestyle with early learning. We regularly work with childcare practitioners in an early years setting and they are an integral part of developing lifestyle habits.

Childminders, as well as all childcare practitioners, can apply this book in their settings. This also includes talking to parents about challenging subjects. Childcare practitioners are in contact with families on a daily basis and this book will support practitioners to initiate sensitive conversations with parents.

In every chapter, there are elements of supporting parents. Why is supporting parents so important?

Although we are a national charity, we alone are not going to be able to reach all the families of young children in the country. What we are hoping to do with this book and our training is to equip everyone who is in contact with young families with the information and the skills to make a difference.

I know from working with childminders, and being a parent who used a childminder, how significant they are to a family. I am still in touch with my children’s childminder and she was a really important part of our life. That relationship between childcare practitioner and parent is something we have built into this book.

Are there any plans on the horizon for your next book?

Our next plan will be to look into further support for practitioners following this book. This will including videos and resources to create more interactive support.

About Henry

HENRY is an award-winning charity that is passionate about babies and young children having a healthy start in life.

If you want to purchase this book, then grab yourself a 20% discount here!

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