New data published today by the The London Health Observatory and Marmot Review Team highlights the huge health inequalities that exist within the UK. According to this new data, by the time that a child is just five years old there is already a huge discrepancy in development, with nearly half of all children starting school considered to not have a good level of development. You can listen to the author of today's report, Sir Michael Marmot, discuss the "compelling" evidence in support of early intervention on Radio 4's Today programme if you 
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The fact that by the time a child starts school they are already disadvantaged shouts out the need to address inequalities early on. In order for a child to reach school with a good level of development they need a good start in life, starting from a healthy pregnancy, to being raised in a home where the quality and quantity of interaction is good.

Sadly there are huge discrepancies in a child’s development because of social inequalities. For example children from lower-socio-economic families are less likely to be breastfed, and this is a powerful predictor of healthy outcomes.

Best Beginnings recognises the need to reduce the substantial health inequalities early on in order to give every child the best start in life. Best Beginnings focus on the time-period between preconception and two years of age because this is where the foundations for a healthy life are built.

While we are alarmed by the statistics published today, we support the call for 'a second revolution in early years' (Fair Society, Healthy Lives) to drive reductions in health inequalities in the UK.

To find out more about the Marmot review and the new findings published today, click here