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Being a parent

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Working to ensure all children have the best start in life for their future growth and development.
FIS provide information and advice on local services for 0-25 year olds, from childcare to holiday activities.

The first five years of your child’s life provide the foundation for their future health and well-being. Even before they are born, their development will be affected by what you eat, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, and whether you look after your own health.


Good parenting has a particular impact on several key outcomes:

  • the parent-infant relationship
  • health-related behaviours
  • educational success and school dropout.

Habits for life

Giving them healthy food and drink whilst they are young not only helps them grow up strong and healthy, but it can teach them good eating habits which will stay with them for life. Children learn by copying their parents, so if you lead a healthy lifestyle, eat well and don’t smoke it's likely that your child will grow up to be the same.

More information

If you feel you would like to discuss any of this in more detail, your midwife, health visitor and General Practitioner are all there to help you give your child the very best start in life. They can also let you know what is going on in your area to support parents with children the same age as yours.

Maternity and paternity rights

Visit the Directgov website to learn about your entitlements to maternity and paternity rights.