Fiona McLeod introduced the conference commenting that she is in post because the Minister is on maternity leave; a practical demonstration of the Scottish Government's commitment to supporting all parents in any position.
Her main points included:
- PAS is important to the Scottish Government because of its role in supporting all families, including the recent initiative to promote family-friendly working though Family Friendly Working Scotland
- The Scottish Government is committed to Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC), which has become a mantra and is embedded in legislation through the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. It means that through the Named Person mechanism, there is always a professional responsible for supporting every child in Scotland
- The National Parenting Strategy raised the profile of parenting, understanding parenting in the widest sense, and provides a means to a better Scotland, with its emphasis on nurturing relationships
- The Early Years Collaborative emphasises attachment, with 89 of its 400 projects working specifically on attachment
- Including fathers as parents is important to the Scottish Government
- Increasing the childcare entitlement to 600 hours a year of free childcare to under 3s is a first step; with an ambition to provide 1,140 hours by 2020; the same number of hours which a child attends primary school
She concluded by saying that Scotland will flourish when all children can have opportunities and build loving relationships.
What I found most useful about the conference: reinforced how important attachment and relationships are in life and supporting children and families. Participant