Skip to main content

Poor Beginnings: Health inequalities among young children across England

A National Children’s Bureau report

Simply by growing up in a certain part of England a child under five is more likely to have poor health that will impact the rest of their lives.

The first five years of a child’s life are critical to their future development. Based on official data published by Public Health England, this report looks at four key measures of young children’s health and well-being – obesity, tooth decay, injury and ‘school readiness’. It provides a clear picture of the health of children under five years old living in England and shows how growing up in different areas of the country dramatically affects their lives.

Thousands of children are obese, are suffering from tooth decay, are victims of accidental injury and do not develop well before starting school. However, a child’s chance of being affected by one of these poor outcomes depends a great deal on where they grow up.