Early Years Forum
The Early Years Forum was established in the early 1990s focusing on the care and education of young children from birth. The group brings together representatives from the full range of diverse agencies with a stake and interest in services and policies for young children. This includes representatives from the statutory, voluntary and private sector and across education, social care, health and equal opportunities. It offers an independent forum for discussing early years policy and practice in Scotland. The forum also provides a UK perspective through links with the National Children’s Bureau and Children in Wales as well as offering a wider international perspective.
The forum aims to promote good practice; support organisations and departments to work together on childcare issues; informs policy development; and keeps members abreast of current issues. The group raises awareness and initiates debate on issues concerning the early years sector as well as responding to relevant consultations, petitions and requests from the Scottish Executive.
There has been a recent and rapid increase of all types of early year provision which is expected to continue in coming years. In addition, the sector as a whole is facing a period of unprecedented structural change with the creation of the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and the Scottish Social Services Council and the abolition of national training organisations. In a recent evaluation of the forum, members identified the main challenges facing early years services over the next five years. These included issues relating to registration and inspection, training and qualifications, raising the profile of early years work (particularly amongst policy makers), sustainable funding and developing a coherent future for childcare. Given the above context, members highlighted the importance of the forum in bringing together organisations to debate changes, identify good practice and both inform policy and keep informed of policy developments.
group of young people chatting (image)
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Learning Teaching Scotland Early Years
Learning and Teaching Scotland's Early Years Online contains information and resources for all involved or interested in the care and education of children 0-8 years.