Babies in Lockdown (Parent-Infant Foundation, Best Beginnings and Home-Start UK, August 2020)

This report captures the experiences of over 5000 families, including 117 from Northern Ireland, who responded to an online survey. Respondents were either pregnant, had recently given birth or had a child under 2 (or were the partner of someone who was pregnant or recently given birth).  The findings highlight the lack of support for families and the inequalities in babies’ early experiences.

  • Almost 7 in 10 parents found their ability to cope with their pregnancy or baby had been impacted as a result of COVID-19 
  • Nearly 7 in 10 parents felt the changes brought about by COVID-19 were affecting their unborn baby, baby or young child
  • Only one third of parents expressed confidence in being able to access mental health support if required

The report makes three policy calls:

  • A one-off Baby Boost to enable local services to support families who have had a baby during or close to lockdown.
  • A new Parent-Infant Premium providing new funding for local commissioners, targeted at improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children.
  • Significant and sustained investment in core funding to support families from conception to age two and beyond, including in statutory services, charities and community groups.