Early years progress but more to do

Promoting the benefits of reading hand story telling to young children has produced significant improvements.
Promoting the benefits of reading hand story telling to young children has produced significant improvements.

Significant progress has been made in increasing the access of early learning and childcare programmes for young children in Glenrothes, a report claims.

Councillors at the area committee today, (Wednesday) will be given a report which says there is hard evidence of a better co-ordination of support services for families with young children and a clearer understanding of the variety of services and early learning programmes available to them in the Glenrothes area.

However the report by Carrie Lindsay, area education officer, also highlights the need for greater investment in children from families in greatest need and, or need additional support.

It also details a need for a more flexible approach to Fife Council’s commitment to breaking what it calls the ‘cycle of disadvantage’ with an added focus on the new born to three-year-old age group.

An engagement with parents to promote the benefits of daily reading to pre-school children was carried out at Ladybird and Carleton nurseries between September 2014 and March 2015.

Such was the benefit, the report claims that 95 per cent of families by June will be actively involved in reading to their children on a daily basis.

The report also updates councillors on the efforts in a number of other key areas including the need to reduce health inequalities, early learning and childcare.

With a number of nurseries reporting that they were struggling to engage with parents, a four week ‘preparing for nursery’ trial at four of the town’s nurseries for the January intake of children.

It’s then expected to be introduced to all subsequent nurseries for the following intake.

Early years development officers have devised the course that aims to build better relationships with parents prior to the child arriving.

A multitude of ways to deliver better results for young children

A pop up information point was identified as a positive way of helping to inform parents of the range of activities and support available in their area.

An initial pilot was introduced in the Kingdom Shopping Centre with a overall positive outcome and further pop up sessions are scheduled.

An initiative to engage more fully with dads at Collydean nursery and school has been identified.

The school has looked at ways to get dads more involved in the activities of the school.

A greater flexibility in the way to deliver the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act requirement that all local councils must offer at least 600 hours of early learning and childcare to eligible two-four-year-olds is now planned.