At NCT, we strongly support the evidence that shows being a parent starts well before a baby is born and that the early years are the most important to the wellbeing of a child throughout its life. Since 1956, our service has been built on these foundations.

Mother and baby

Unquestionable evidence

Now more than 56 years later, leading health practitioners of our time have presented the latest scientific research, which establishes beyond any doubt that the First 1,000 Days are by far the most influential on a child’s future capabilities, emotionally and socially.

The early years are the greatest period of growth in the human brain. Babies are born with 25% of their brains developed; by age three this has rapidly increased to 80%.

A child’s developmental score at 22 months can serve as an accurate predictor of educational outcome at age 26.

The antenatal period is as important as infancy to the outcome for a child because maternal behaviour has such strong impacts on the developing foetus.

So crucial and defining is this period of time for children, parents and society at large, we believe it warrants its own name.

Defining the role

Historically, we have used the term transition to parenthood. However, the word ‘transition’ implies that the job of being a parent is done once a baby is born. Going forward we are adopting the term First 1,000 Days.

First 1,000 Days will allow us to talk about the early parent journey with accuracy and significance and will reflect the continuous cycle of ante- and postnatal support that parents need to carry out their role successfully.

Read more about what we want to achieve with First 1,000 Days.

Courses & workshops

NCT Antenatal course

Find out more

NCT Antenatal refresher course

Find out more

Local activities and meetups

NCT Membership
Support NCT Charity by becoming a member
Excited couple holding pregnancy test
Sign up to our weekly Pregnancy & Baby Guide