Early Years Collaborative

24 Jan 2013 03:37 PM

More than 750 early years experts - for the first time - gathered in Glasgow yesterday to help make Scotland the best place to grow up.

The Early Years Collaborative - a coalition of Community Planning Partners, including social services, health, education, police and third sector professionals - will start to work towards three ambitious aims to improve children’s start in life:

  • By end 2015, reduce the rate of stillbirths and infant mortality by 15 per cent;
  • By end 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 2017, ensure that 90 per cent of all children in each Community Planning Partnership have reached all expected developmental milestones by the time the child starts primary school.

The new approach to better support children and families, has attracted interest from America and Europe and will enable experts to learn, share and work together to the benefit of local communities.

Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell said:

“I want to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up and give every child the best start in life. Today marks the start of a new and ambitious approach to early intervention and investment in our children and families.

“Getting it right in the early years is the right thing to do for children and parents. By investing in development from the start, and preventing problems later on, the benefits go beyond families to Scotland’s wider society and economy.”

Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns said:

“The evidence is incontrovertible - improving health equality and life expectancy rests on tackling the problems in early years. Problems in early years lead to poor educational attainment, increased offending, poor health. I am clear this process cannot be top down – we must all work with people to gather insight, offer opportunities and give people control. This is an exciting and pioneering process that I am pleased to be involved in and am confident we can deliver change.”

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