First Five aims to improve the lives of babies, children and their parents

Parents will get 7 weeks paid leave during the first year of their child's life by 2021 as part of this new First Five plan.

The new leave scheme will be on top of existing entitlements including maternity and paternity leave.

The cross-departmental ten year strategy aims to improve the lives of babies and children under 5 with the a number of new initiatives.


The First Five Strategy has identified 5 key areas of action, On top of the new parental leave scheme, the strategy aims to introduce a new model of parenting support, a reform of the Early Learning and Care System, measures to tackle childhood poverty and new developments on child health.

Health Minister Simon Harris says a dedicated child health workforce will be established.

The implementation of First 5 will be overseen by the department of children and a detailed implementation plan will be published in the coming months