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Help understand a new generation of children growing up in the UK

Every baby is special, but those born today belong to a one-of-a-kind generation. The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have brought unique challenges for mothers and fathers like you, your children and your futures.

Generation New Era is the first new UK-wide study of its kind for more than 20 years. It aims to follow the lives of this new generation as they grow up in our changing world.

The UK has been a world leader in this kind of research for more than 70 years. There are currently four national birth cohort studies of people born in 1946, 1958, 1970 and 2000 still running today. By comparing information across the different studies, we can see how life in the UK is changing from generation to generation.

By being part of Generation New Era, you will be helping researchers to understand the lives of children growing up in the UK today and contributing to this internationally important historical series of studies.

Make the case for change

By providing vital new insights into the health and development of children, Generation New Era will help make a real difference to society. The study findings will be used by researchers, governments, policymakers and service providers and will inform decisions about the services and support available for children and families everywhere.

The findings from previous studies have been a real force for change. For example, they have:

  • Led to policy changes supporting parents in their baby’s first year of life. This includes introducing paid paternity leave, adoption leave and the right to request flexible working, extending maternity leave to one year and introducing shared parental leave.
  • Identified a connection between smoking in pregnancy and low birth weight, sparking a major public health campaign in the 1970s.

By being part of Generation New Era, you will be making an important contribution to society, helping to provide vital evidence on issues that matter to families now.

We will keep you updated on findings from the study and let you know how these are being used.

Be the voice for families like yours

There is no child like your child and no family like your family. Taking part in the study means that your child’s unique journey, and your family’s unique experiences, will be included in these important statistics.

Many families will be finding life especially difficult right now. Others may be in a more comfortable place. But for the study to be valuable, we need babies growing up in all different circumstances and in all different communities to take part. This is vital as it will enable us to make comparisons, see how these differences matter for children’s development and pinpoint the things that could help all children get the best start in life.

We can’t invite everyone to take part but we’ve been able to ensure that the families we have invited, together, reflect the diversity of each region, country and the UK as a whole. And this is why it’s so important that as many of you as possible do get involved – to make sure that the story the study tells reflects the whole of our society. And give everyone a chance to be heard. Each family chosen for the study is unique and we can’t replace you with anyone else.  

It’s really important that we hear from fathers as well as mothers, and from parents who may be living apart from their child’s other parent. This is so we can build up as complete a picture as possible of each child’s life.

Share your experiences

We hope the study will carve a little bit of space out of people’s busy lives for them to think about their experiences as a parent and how their baby is developing, and we hope this will be something people will enjoy and find beneficial. Participants in previous studies have told us they’ve really enjoyed taking part.

Get a little something back

To say thank you for taking part, we will give each parent a voucher for their time. The voucher can be spent in a range of high street shops. This will be given to you at the end of your interview or emailed to you afterwards.