Herefordshire is home to 35,900 young people aged under 18 - this is projected to increase to 37,000 by 2025. The challenge for Herefordshire Council and its partners in the independent and voluntary sectors is to maximise the potential of our children and young people and give them all the best start in life.
The dental health of children in Herefordshire is poor compared to the rest of England and has not changed significantly over the last ten years. Almost a third of five year-olds have some signs of tooth decay - among the worst rates in the country. Poor dental health is more common in the most deprived areas of the county.
Herefordshire is performing well across a range of indicators that are known to influence the health and development of infants. The proportion of babies with a low birth weight is significantly lower than nationally and breastfeeding rates have shown a continual increase since 2010/11. The take up rate for childhood immunization programmes compares well with national and regional rates and the county is in the upper quartile of all local authorities for early learning goals.
Children in Herefordshire generally do well throughout school compared to pupils in England as a whole. However, there is still a significant gap across the age groups in the attainment of disadvantaged children compared to their non-disadvantaged peers.
Rates of children who are looked after (LAC) by the local authority, or subject to a child protection plan (CPP) in Herefordshire are relatively high and have been for a number of years. The chances of children and families being involved with children’s services are higher in more deprived areas of the county.