Brighter Beginnings: the first 2000 days of life

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A virtual conference introducing the NSW Government “Brighter Beginnings: the first 2000 days of life” initiative

About this Event

The Brighter Beginnings: the first 2000 days of life initiative is a connected, cross-government approach to delivering services and information related to the first 2000 days of a person’s life (from conception to age five).

This virtual conference will be opened by The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, and will bring together government leaders, policy makers, leading experts and researchers. It will explore:

  • Evidence to support focus on the first 2000 days of life from health, wellbeing and education perspectives
  • The customer journey from family planning to the first day of school
  • Opportunities to work together for improved citizen experiences and life outcomes
  • Translating evidence to child and family centred best practice


10.00 – 10.15

Welcome and opening remarks - The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning

10.15 – 11.00

The first 2000 days of life evidence and call to action – Assoc. Prof. Elisabeth Murphy

Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy will present on the evidence for why the early years of life (from conception to age five) are important for health and wellbeing outcomes across the lifespan. She will share insights into what organisations and other nations are doing to give children the best start in life, and how we can learn from their efforts.

11.00 – 11.30

Customer experience and opportunities mapping

Presentation of an ‘Experience and Opportunities Map’ identifying common goals and needs of parents and carers, their experiences in interacting with service providers, and highlighting opportunity areas to improve the customer experience for the first 2000 days of a child’s life. Join us to find out more about this project, what we have heard from parents and carers to date, and how you can get involved.


Concurrent sessions

11.30 – 12.00

“Focus on New Fathers” pilot program – NSW Ministry of Health

NSW Health recognises that dads have a unique role as a parent and that becoming a dad is an important time in a man’s life. To support dads, NSW Health has introduced a pilot program called Focus on New Fathers. This is a digital platform called SMS4Dads which regularly reaches out to new fathers to encourage them to develop a relationship with their baby as early as possible.

11.30 – 12.00

Supporting the transition to school – NSW Department of Education

Moving from early childhood education and care to primary school is a key milestone for children and families. The Department of Education has developed a suite of resources to assist early childhood professionals and children to engage in effective and meaningful preparation for school.

11.30 – 12.00

The importance of first 2000 days evidence in understanding disadvantage and vulnerability – NSW Department of Communities and Justice

Our understanding of the first 2000 days of life has particular significance for the design and delivery of services for children and families experiencing elevated levels of disadvantage and/or vulnerability. This understanding has increasingly influenced work across the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ). The session will include exploration of the DCJ’s Targeted Early Intervention program. This program operates in most communities across NSW. It delivers early help and support to families who are trying to manage complex disadvantage.


12.00 – 12.40

Panel Discussion

Join NSW Government representatives and leading health and education academics as they discuss the critical importance of the first 2000 days of life. The panel will focus on how the evidence and research translates to child and family centred best practice, including for recovery from COVID-19.

12.40 – 12.45

Closing remarks

Who should attend?

  • Early childhood, health, wellbeing and social services from public, not-for-profit and private sectors
  • Public servants and professionals working with government in the above sectors
  • General public: parents of children under five and expecting parents
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