What is Child of the New Century?
Child of the New Century (CNC) is a large-scale survey of the babies of the new millennium, and the families that are bringing them up. You may also see it referred to as the Millennium Cohort Study (or MCS) in places. This is just another name for the same study. CNC is managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), a research centre based at the Institute of Education in London.
The first survey of your babies (18,818 in total) was carried out between 2001 and 2002, when they were nine months old. We collected information about pregnancy and birth, details of the first few months of your baby’s life, and the social and economic background of your family. Information was gathered from parents through interviews and questionnaires and reveals the diversity of starting points for your children.
The design of CNC broke new ground in many ways. Unlike the two other cohort studies managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS and the other cohort studies) which took all the births in England, Scotland and Wales in one week in 1958 and one week in 1970, Child of the New Century took a sample of births from across a whole year. And, for the first time, Northern Ireland was included in the study. Another new feature was that in the first survey, fathers, as well as mothers, were interviewed.
Between September 2003 and April 2005, we carried out the second CNC survey (or Age 3 survey). This means we can now undertake research to find out how your children are doing as they get older. We can compare their situations at the age of 3 with their situations when they were born. This helps us to see how the conditions of their early lives have impact on them as they grow older. When we carried out the second survey, we recruited an additional 692 families to the study, so the CNC now includes 19,244 families.
The third survey (when your children were aged 5) took place between January 2006 and early 2007 and looked at how the lives of you and your children had changed as they started their first all important year of school.
The fourth survey of CNC took place in 2008 when the children were age 7. We were really pleased that almost 14,000 families took part again. Most of the children would have been at school for two years at this stage and we were very keen to see how things had changed for them.
The Age 11 Survey is taking place during 2012. We want to revisit the Children of the New Century in their last year of primary school and before they become teenagers, to find out how they are getting on, what is the same for them and what has changed.