Early Years Framework update

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Progress and benefits of the Early years framework

by Anncris Roberts, Scottish Government

20 April 2011

Published in December 2008, the Early Years Framework heralded an important milestone in partnership working and represented a new approach to policy development.  Progress on the Framework remains a key opportunity to shape the future and ensure children have the best start in life.

The Scottish Government and COSLA recently (January) published Early Years Framework - Progress so Far accompanied by illustrative case studies.  There is clearly much excellent and innovative work going on across the ten elements of transformational change set out in the Framework.

The clear message of the Framework has always been that real change is only possible through local implementation and joined up action by local partners and agencies, focused in improving outcomes for our youngest children.

However, the Progress so Far document was published partly in response to comments from stakeholders that they would welcome an update on the actions in the Framework for Scottish Government and other national partners.

Highlights include:

  • Publishing (last November) a report on the financial benefits of early years investment which showed that failure to intervene effectively in a child's early years could result in a nine fold increase in costs to the public purse
  • Developing an outcomes framework and list of indicators to assist local partners measure progress towards national and local early years outcomes
  • Establishing a Common Skills Working Group chaired by Anne Houston of Children 1st, to agree a draft common core skill set for those working with young children and their families.  These have recently been published for consultation
  • Establishing the PlayTalkRead campaign to support, empower and enable parents to improve life chances for their children
  • Testing the Family Nurse Partnership early intervention programme in the City of Edinburgh initially, followed by two more test sites in NHS Tayside
  • Developing and publishing a Pathway of Care for Vulnerable Families 0-3
  • Funding courses at Strathclyde, Stirling and Aberdeen Universities to offer more specialised early years teaching skills
  • Launching, in 2009, the £4m Go Play fund, administered by Inspiring Scotland

Further detail on these and other projects is available in Progress so Far Hard copies are available from the Early Years Framework Team earlyyearsframework@scotland.gsi.gov.uk]