Cork is a designated World Health Organisation Healthy City. With this designation is a requirement of the city to commit to health and a process and structure to achieve it. A WHO Healthy City is one that continually creates and improves its physical and social environments and expands the community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential. Cork Healthy Cities is a partnership between the Health Service Executive South, Cork City Council, Niche, the Cork Community Health Network and University College Cork.
Recognising that the early years are a key determinant of health Cork Healthy Cities supports the campaign by the Cork Early Years Alliance to:
- Double the funding at €9.20 per hour,
- Provide additional staff grant for services affected by Childcare regulations change
- Acknowledge that Community Early Years is Early intervention and should be funded as such
This support from Cork Healthy Cities is in line with the Marmot Review priority policy objective to ‘Give every child the best start in life’. To achieve equity from the start, investment in the early years is crucial. The foundations for human development – physical, intellectual, social and emotional – are laid in early childhood. What happens during these early years (starting in the womb) has lifelong effects on health and well-being – from obesity, heart disease and mental health, to educational achievement and economic status.
The reduction of inequality requires a sustained commitment to children and young people through continued family support, education, training and employment.