In early 2023, the National Children's Bureau was appointed as the delivery partner for two important and well-established awards schemes created by the Mayor of London.
The awards recognise how early years settings and schools reduce child health inequalities and support children and families in the capital to be as healthy as possible.
Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) is an awards scheme which recognises achievements in child health, wellbeing, and development in early years. 1,500+ Early Years settings have received an award across all boroughs.
Healthy Schools London (HSL) supports London’s schools to provide an environment that helps their pupils grow up to be healthy, happy and learn. It was launched in 2013, with 2,000+ schools registered on the awards scheme, across all boroughs.
What will NCB be doing?
NCB will be managing both programmes in their current forms for the remainder of the academic year. The NCB team will work closely with the Greater London Authority to refresh and align the two programmes within a new regional partnership, ready for a re-launch in September 2023.
Our aim is to ensure the Mayor’s Healthy Early Years and Healthy Schools London programmes are running as efficiently and effectively as possible, and to embed the programmes into wider regional initiatives to tackle child health inequalities across London. We will support boroughs and provide a network for sharing best practice.
How will children and families benefit?
Getting a good start, building emotional resilience and getting the maximum benefit from education are the most important markers for good health and wellbeing throughout life.
A significant proportion of London’s children have health problems that may affect their wellbeing and future education. For example:
- Almost 1 in 5 children in reception year are overweight or obese.
- 1 in 4 five-year-olds in London have tooth decay.
- Children eligible for free school meals are almost 20% less likely to have a good level of development at age five than those not eligible
- Babies born in Tower Hamlets are 2.5x more likely to be born with a low birth weight than those born in Richmond upon Thames
As new and existing schools and early years providers work towards their awards, we will support them to improve how they deliver health and wellbeing education for children and young people, working with their families too.
We will also improve communication with education settings and deliver effective networking opportunities to improve the sector’s capacity and knowledge.
Although the awards are available to all settings in London, helping them retain high standards, NCB will make sure these programmes reach those who need the support the most.
NCB’s expertise in delivering similar innovative programmes will benefit the Healthy Early Years London and Healthy Schools London programmes. These include:
- The Wellbeing Award for School
- Stronger Practice Hubs
- The United Against Bullying programme
- Early Years SEND programme
Find out more
To get more information on the programmes as our partnership develops, you can sign up to NCB’s early years newsletter here.