Launch of the Early Years Collaborative

In Jan 2013, more than 750 early years experts got together for the first learning session of the Early Years Collaborative, an improvement methodology designed to improve practice in early years to give children the best start in life.

The Early Years Collaborative - a coalition of Community Planning Partners, including social services, health, education, police and third sector professionals - are working towards three aims related to children's early years:

  • By end of 2015, reduce the rate of stillbirths and infant mortality by 15 per cent
  • By end of 2016, ensure that 85 per cent of all children in each Community Planning partnership meet all expected developmental milestones at the child's 27-30 month child health review
  • By end of 2017, ensure that 90 per cent of all children in each Community Planning Partnership have reached all developmental milestones by the time the child starts primary school.

The objective of the Early Years Collaborative (EYC) is to accelerate the conversion of the high level principles set out in GIRFEC and the Early Years Framework into practical action.

There is commitment and the will to deliver in this area, and a strong evidence base about what works to make improvements. Currently, there is a gap between what we know works and what we do. The Early Years Collaborative is a method by which of taking pockets of excellent practice to scale, and ensuring that every baby, child, mother, father and family in Scotland has access to the best supports available.

The EYC is premised on the fact that there is strong evidence about costs and outcomes of current and desired practice, but much of this is not being used in daily work. Practice does not always reliably recreate what the evidence tells us, and there is inconsistency and patchy implementation. In other words, there is a gap between what we know and what we do.

More information on the Collaborative can be found here ( http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/early-years/early-years-collaborative). Slides from the first learning session are available to download http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/early-years/early-years-collaborative/learning-sessions