An investment in health

Written by: MA Education
2 August 2016

The forthcoming increase in early education entitlement to 30-hours per week offers unprecedented potential and a perfect opportunity to improve both wellbeing and the nation's children's eating habits.

An investment in health
An investment in health


The food children eat in their earliest years shapes their future health – the tastes and eating habits formed early in life can have consequences for growth, development, health and academic achievement in later life (Sorhaindho and Feinstein, 2006; Feinstein et al, 2008; Wiles et al, 2009).

The increase in entitlement from 15 to 30 hours free early education and childcare per week for three and four-year-olds in working families (Department for Education, 2015), means that more children are likely to consume more of their meals within an early years setting. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to help more children eat well and develop good eating habits for life. If childcare providers are given appropriate support, this investment to help parents return to work, or work more hours, and children to benefit from early years education also becomes an investment in their current and long-term health.

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