Early years in oxford
In 2017 Oxford was identified as the 19th worst area for social mobility out of over 200 localities in the UK. This means that it is much more likely for children who are born into poverty or low income in Oxford, to remain in this situation throughout their lives.
Over the last year in Oxfordshire, there have been budget cuts of £8 million to children’s services. This has meant reduced support to children’s centres and early intervention hubs, with community groups taking a leadership role to keep some children’s centres open and offering support to local families.
Early years are an extremely important time in the emotional and social development of a child. We know that a good start with learning and personal support has a profound effect on the educational experience and development of a child, carrying well into their adult lives.
There is no doubt that support and care for children is effected on a structural and national level, but there are things that can be done on the ground. At a local and city level we can do things to improve the possibilities that are available in the critical early years.
Through this initiative, Oxford City Council recognises the opportunity to work together with partners across Oxford and the County Council in order to close the social mobility gap for children under the age of 5 in our city.
This is also an important time to support new parents, ensuring they have the community and connections to help their young children thrive.