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Early years focus

What happens during pre-conception, pregnancy, birth and the earliest years of a child’s life can determine the health and wellbeing of the rest of their childhood and their adult life. This is why support for children’s early years, for their families and for the early years workforce has always been an important focus for Children in Scotland’s work.

From 2010-2012, funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, supported by the Scottish Government,enabled us to increase and deepen our work to influence policy on early years matters. While our policy staff, with our members, are pursuing early years policy matters through a range of networks and methods, this increased focus has an impact on all Children in Scotland’s work including our training, events and publications, some of which we highlight here.

Early years newsletter

Newsletter 6 (January 2013)

Newsletter 5 (October 2012)

Newsletter 4 (July 2012)
Newsletter 3 (Feb 2012)

Newsletter 2 (Oct 2011)

Newsletter 1 (May 2011)

Briefings and reports

Child Health is Habit Forming - Early Years Policy Project – Special Briefing (February 2013)

The final output of the Early Years Policy Project looks at forming good health habits around hand washing, teeth brushing, being outside and eating for health and wellbeing.

A right and an entitlement: legislating for change in early learning and childcare (June 2012)

Children in Scotland surveyed local authorities to explore their expectations and aspirations for what the Children and Young People Bill might deliver for Early Childhood Education and Care in Scotland.

The Scottish Childcare Lottery (February 2012) Full report by Children in Scotland and the Daycare Trust
Scottish families face a childcare lottery, some are able to access affordable childcare but many are not. Parents in Scotland face high costs that take up a larger proportion of their income than other parts of the UK. This report sets out what needs to be don e at national level.

Special Report no.2: Early Childhood Education and Care: Developing a fully integrated early years system(August 2011)
Working for Inclusion, a European research programme led by Children in Scotland, found that integrated systems of early childhood education and care were highly correlated with low child poverty and high childwellbeing.

Children in Scotland has published a detailed report with recommendations for how to develop a fully integrated early years system in Scotland.  The first recommendation is that the Scottish Government should use the European Commission’s Communication on Early Childhood Education and Care as a policy framework for Scotland. 

Special Report no.1: The cost of childcare in Scotland(February 2011)
Produced by Children in Scotland, in association with The Scottish Out of School Network.
Cost is a key component of the whole experience of non-parental care for children and the positive or negative impact it has. This report focuses on costs, but within the context of related areas of debate frequently raised by Children in Scotland and its members.

European Structural Funds and Early Childhood Education and Care - Written submission to the Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee on the use of EU Structural Funds (April 2012). Children in Scotland urges the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee to recommend that the structural funds be constructively applied to support the development of universal early year childhood education and care and school age childcare provision across Scotland

Early Years Briefing Paper 8: Universal Entitlements: How investments in the early years should be informed by research evidence about universal approaches (February 2012)

Early Years Briefing Paper 7: How they did it: Slovenia and Norway's Early Childhood Education and Care policy (September 2011)

Early Years Briefing Paper 6: Legislating to improve outcomes for young children in Scotland (September 2011)

Early Years Briefing Paper 5: Scotland's Additional Support for Learning Act as a resource for young children (and their parents) and for early years providers (August 2011)

Early Years Briefing Paper 4: Scotland’s new government and its Promises for young children and their families (July 2011)

Early Years Briefing Paper 3: Early Childhood Education and Care (June 2011)

Early Years Briefing Paper 2: Preconception Health (April 2011)

Early Years Briefing Paper 1: Fetal Alcohol Harm (April 2011)

Latest early years work across Children in Scotland

Working for inclusion: the role of the early years workforce in addressing poverty and promoting social inclusion. This European research and practice study programme, led by Children in Scotland, found that those countries with fully integrated systems and other important interconnected policies designed to support early childhood and families appear to have higher-qualified, better paid staff, lower levels of child poverty and higher levels of child wellbeing. Visit for research reports, European data and analysis.

Working it out: Help shape the future of Scotland's children's sector workforce. Children in Scotland invited the children's sector workforce, employers, planners, universities, colleges and other stakeholders to join in debate about future children's sector workforce development. Visit for a series of publications outlining the discussions and learning.









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Contact details
for this section:

Jim Stephen


0131 313 8835

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