Healthy Childhood

Our goal is to create a healthier, fairer future for all families, including those living in deprived areas, through influencing the systems that determine health and wellbeing. Early life is a critical time period for developing healthy life trajectories, and thus offers a window for intervention where efforts to improve health will have lasting lifelong benefits.

The Healthy Childhood theme has supported the creation and development of the Centre for Applied Education Research (CAER), a hub where applied health and applied education research can break down the silos that currently exist between health and education service delivery.

CAER is a partnership between the Universities of Leeds, Bradford and York, the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Department for Education, the Educational Endowment Foundation, the Bradford Research School and the Bradford Local Authority.

An evidence active network is being established across the 207 schools within the region, which will provide an incredible test-bed for evaluating health and education interventions. CAER will also utilise linked routinely collected health, social care and education data to drive the development of innovative practice to help children, teachers and other professionals address issues of physical and mental health, educational attainment and social mobility.

We will identify organisational and cultural drivers for change, and lever existing community assets in order to develop sustainable solutions to population health problems. We will drive change across these systems, promoting greater consistency and integration between health, education, and community service providers to facilitate access and improve delivery of preventive health interventions. Working closely with the internationally recognised Born in Bradford research programme we will harness the power of our richly characterised cohort of over 30,000 Bradford residents and our Connected Bradford dataset of the real time linked health, social care and education records of 700,000 Yorkshire citizens.

We will achieve our goals by working in close partnership with community, health and education stakeholders. Our theme hosts a range of creative active public engagement forums to help co-produce our research, including parent governor, young ambassadors, and community research advisory groups, in addition to testing novel creative ways of assessing priorities from local communities using the arts and science dissemination events.