Children and Young People’s Commissioner visits Angus

Pictured from left: Councillor Sheena Welsh, Eileen Jackson (Early Years Collaborative Programme Manager), Tam Baillie (Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland), Councillor Lynne Devine and Dawn Archibald (Service Manager, Early Years).

Pictured from left: Councillor Sheena Welsh, Eileen Jackson (Early Years Collaborative Programme Manager), Tam Baillie (Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland), Councillor Lynne Devine and Dawn Archibald (Service Manager, Early Years).

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Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Tam Baillie, was in Arbroath and other centres in Angus today (Thursday) to see progress on current projects.

Mr Baillie visited a number of early years services to see some of the outcomes of the Early Years Collaborative in Angus.

The Early Years Collaborative (EYC) was launched in October 2012 and is the world’s first national multi-agency quality improvement programme. Its aim is to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up in by improving outcomes and reducing inequalities for all babies, children, mothers, fathers and families to ensure that all children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.

Launched in October 2012, EYC involves all 32 Community Planning Partnerships and a wide range of National Partners.

In Angus there is a multi-agency approach, working to deliver improvement through change at grass roots level across the county. It focuses on what already works well and what needs to happen to develop more effective improvement.

Welcoming the Commissioner, the Council’s Vice Convener of Children and Learning, Councillor Lynne Devine said: “The early years of a child’s life is so crucial to their development and life chances. For this reason we are trying hard to prioritise the services – health, social work and education – who work together to support families as early as possible. In the Early Years Collaborative, continual improvements through small tests of change are undertaken to make our services as good as they can be for both the children and their families.

“I’m delighted to welcome Tam to Angus and to be able to show him some of the excellent work being done by staff in the Early Years Collaborative which in the long run will help to close the educational gap which concerns all of us.”

Tam Baillie, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland said:“The early years of children’s lives are the most important; it is their earliest experiences at home, at school and with friends that shape how they will develop. It is also a children’s rights issue. We know that focusing on the early years will have life-long benefits into adulthood. That’s why the work that Angus Council is doing through the EYC is an inspiring example of making real the good intentions of the Children and Young People Act and by doing so, further improve the long-term outcomes for our children.”

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People said: “There are almost 650 Early Years Collaborative (EYC) Improvement Projects across Scotland and it’s encouraging to see that, through their involvement with the EYC, Angus is strengthening their services to improve outcomes and life chances for children and families.

“They have increased support for expectant mums where there are issues relating to substance misuse; improved sharing of information between health and early learning and childcare so children’s development needs can be identified and responded to as early as possible and they’ve increased children’s library membership through Bookbug to build literacy skills. This is exactly what the EYC is about – making early year’s services as effective as possible so all children gets the best start in life and have an equal opportunity to thrive and learn.”