Early Years Opportunities not Interventions

I believe we need to develop and extend third sector early opportunities rather than calling them early interventions. 

 For example group activities which involve parents staying with their young children and building confidence and knowledge around child development and age appropriate behaviours. In addition this provides opportunities to socialise and bond with other parents so they begin to build support networks in their own communities.

These opportunities can start with first attendances at Baby Massage, healthy weening, book bug , confidence to cook  and stay and play sessions. A group led by a professional and supported by volunteers ensures a quality service is provided and is cost effective.  Supporting and promoting volunteering services also enriches a community.   

We also need to extend home visiting support to families where they face barriers to accessing group facilities or where another need has been identified.  Addressing issues of low self-esteem or isolation early can prevent more problems developing.

Parenting classes should be made available to all families, especially those with children under 3 years old.  The stigma associated with attending parenting classes should be addressed now. Parenting classes need to be seen as something positive from the beginning not just something for parents identified as having children with challenging behaviours.  If challenging behaviour is identified at a later stage further support to meet those new challenges should be available. Ensuring families don’t have barriers stopping them from being able to attend is also important. One to one support from a volunteer or a family support worker may be needed to enable families to attend these sessions.  Funding the out of pocket expenses for a volunteer is essential as is the management and development of those volunteers. 

 

Why the contribution is important

It is the basis of Implementing GIRFEC and starting to address the cultural change needed in Scotland if we are to make SCOTLAND the best place to grow up. We need to keep the Early Years in focus and ensure parents are included in this. 

by LYuill on December 14, 2016 at 08:33AM

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