Early childhood is acknowledged as the most crucial developmental period in a person’s life. It creates a foundation for the later years and offers a critical opportunity to establish good health and learning outcomes for a lifetime.

As part of our broader focus on chronic disease prevention policy, Mitchell Institute is looking at the costs and benefits of action (and inaction) in early childhood and the evidence that indicates a much-needed shift in health policy.

To inform this work, Mitchell Institute commissioned Dr Kim Sweeny of the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies to look at what is currently known about the relationship between socio-economic disadvantage in early childhood and poor health and education outcomes in adulthood.

Roundtable summary: On 30 October 2014, the Mitchell Institute hosted a policy roundtable to consider the evidence outlined in Dr Kim Sweeny’s report, The influence of childhood circumstances on adult health.

The paper explores the importance of early childhood in establishing lifetime advantages for health and education.

A group of 25 experts were brought together to discuss the policy barriers and opportunities to achieve much needed reform.