This chapter introduces the main topics covered by this book. The initiation of a new cohort study of approximately 18,800 UK babies born in the Millennium provides the opportunity to reflect on the circumstances of children in Britain at the start of a new century. This book focuses on the information collected in the new Millennium Cohort Study of these babies covering the period from pregnancy through to nine months old. However, it also offers a perspective from earlier generations in selected respects, to show how circumstances and experiences differ. The book focuses on particular aspects of starting out on life in the 21st century; these include pregnancy experiences; birth experiences; child health; growth and development; parents' health; household structure; socioeconomic circumstances of parents; employment and education of mothers and fathers; childcare arrangements; household income and attitudes to parenting and employment.
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