Starting well

What happens in pregnancy and early childhood impacts on physical and emotional health all the way through to adulthood. Every child in Liverpool should be given the best start in life, with the crucial period starting from pregnancy to the age of two.

Key facts

  • In 2019, there were 5,897 live births in Liverpool (ONS, 2020). There were 449 more births to Liverpool mothers than a decade ago.
  • There were 5.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017-2019, which was statistically significantly higher than the England rate (3.9 per 1,000).
  • Some 2.53% of live births at term in 2019 had a low birthweight (defined as weighing under 2500g), similar to 2.90% reported nationally.
  • 686 mothers (1 in 8) in 2019/20 were recorded as being smokers at the time of the delivery of their baby, compared with 1 in 10 nationally.
  • 58.7% of Liverpool mothers initiated breastfeeding and only 37.7% were breastfeeding 6-8 weeks after the birth of their baby (England reported figures of 67.4% and 48% respectively).
  • Vaccination coverage in 2019/20 was generally below or similar to national benchmarks. In 2019/20 some 94% of two year olds in the city had been vaccinated for Dtap/IPV/Hib which was in line with the national average.
  • Liverpool has a high rate of A&E attendances for children aged under 1 year, 2.5 times higher than England.
  • 27% of our children aged 4-5 years are either overweight or obese, significantly above the national average (23%).
  • Only 65% of Liverpool children have a good level of development at the end of their school reception year, compared with 72% nationally.

View 'Child and Maternal Health Profile – Early Years', Public Health England

Detailed needs assessments

In summer 2017 the following health needs assessments were published in relation to Early Years:

Liverpool information

Liverpool City Region

Public Health England profiles

Useful websites