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Early years are a really important time for children. What happens in the early years has the potential to impact the rest of a child’s life and beyond. Research is showing us that the longer term impact of Covid-19 will have varying impacts on early years services in different communities.

At SSBC, we work in four areas in Nottingham City. We test new ideas to find out what helps to improve social emotional development, communication and language and nutrition outcomes for 0-4 years olds. We work closely with local communities: both families, and local workers delivering services for families.

We wanted to share with the House of Lords Life Beyond Covid Committee the views of local workers in Nottingham. We want to make sure that their views are considered when the government is planning for the future. Most importantly, we want to help prevent further inequality in life after Covid.

We spoke with our Family Mentor teams in Aspley, Bulwell, Hyson Green & Arboretum, and St Anns. They are local people who are trained to support local families and provide home visits (known as Small Steps at Home). We also spoke with people who work in other services in Nottingham:

  • libraries
  • early help
  • health visiting
  • local councillors
  • community and voluntary organisations, and community engagement.

Our conversations were inspiring, positive, and honest. But they were also challenging.

One thing was clear: no one was quite sure what Life Beyond Covid will look like.

Most people felt strongly that we needed to:

  • Build on the sense of ‘togetherness’ that lots of us felt during the peak of the pandemic.
  • Continue looking out for others.
  • Come together as a community to make sure everyone is treated with respect and compassion, regardless of who they are.
  • Move forward and beyond Covid.
  • Make sure no one is left behind.

Generally, we felt there was a lot of hope for the future. But a huge challenge lies ahead.  

Lots of people we spoke to believed that existing inequalities (whether based on gender, income or ethnicity) could worsen. They felt that the government needs to be honest, clear and compassionate so that the impact of Covid does not impact more generations of local families.

We worked with two artists to create a set of 6 visual minutes that record the conversations we had with local workers. They give more detail about their hopes and challenges as we move beyond Covid-19.

Life Beyond Covid Aspley
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Life Beyond Covid Bulwell
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Life Beyond Covid St Ann's Hyson Green Arboretum
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Life Beyond Covid Discussion Group 1
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Life Beyond Covid Discussion Group 2
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