On 10 December 2008, The Early Years Framework was launched, signifying the Scottish Government and COSLA's commitment to giving all children the best possible start in life. An update on progress was published in January 2011: Early Years Framework - Progress So Far.
There is a wealth of evidence indicating that the earliest years of life are crucial to a child's development and future life chances. It is increasingly evident that inequalities in health, education and employment opportunities are passed from one generation to another. The Early Years Framework aims to break these negative cycles through early and effective intervention, together with the Scottish Government's other 2 social policy frameworks - Equally Well which focuses on addressing health inequalities, and Achieving Our Potential which aims to tackle poverty.
The Early Years Framework sets out 10 elements of transformational change, to be realised over a 10-year time horizon, and covers the period from pre-birth to age 8. There are a number of priorities for action set out under each of the 10 elements, with short, medium and long term outcomes for each. Key to achieving transformational change in the long term will be re-aligning services towards early intervention as opposed to crisis management. It is also vital that all relevant services work together to identify and meet the needs of individual children, in line with the principles of Getting it right for every child
Professor Susan Deacon published her Joining the Dots report on 2 March 2011. The report aims to build consensus around the importance of early years and early intervention.
10 Elements of Transformational Change
1. A coherent approach
2. Helping children, families and communities to secure outcomes for themselves
3. Breaking cycles of poverty, inequality and poor outcomes in and through early years
4. A focus on engagement and empowerment of children, families and communities
5. Using the strength of universal services to deliver prevention and early intervention
6. Putting quality at the heart of service delivery
7. Services that meet the needs of children and families
8. Improving outcomes and children's quality of life through play
9. Simplifying and streamlining delivery
10. More effective collaborations