BMA report

Supporting a healthy childhood: the need for greater investment in services

A safe, supportive and happy childhood environment is widely understood to be vital for a child's development, health and wellbeing over the short- and long-term.

Location: England
Audience: Public health doctors
Updated: Thursday 26 August 2021
Topics: Population health
Public Health Article Illustration

What you will get from this report

  • Analysis and findings of spending on children's social care in 2019/20.
  • Recommendation for a cross-government 'healthy childhood strategy'.
  • Recommendation to reverse budget cuts to children's services in England.


Key findings

  • Spending on Sure Start and early years services in England has decreased by 39% since 2014/15.
  • Spending on 5-19 children’s public health services in England has declined by 6% since 2016/17, and for mandated 0-5 children’s public health services by 5%.
  • The number of health visitors in England has decreased by 24% since 2015.
  • The number of school nurses in England has decreased by 13% since 2010.
  • Supply is not yet sufficient to meet the levels of demand on child and adolescent mental health services.
  • Introduction
  • Examples of adverse childhood experiences
  • Recommendations
  • The overall picture
  • Spending on children's social care in 2019/20
  • Analysis and findings
  • Summary
  • References