Early years

“The early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behaviour, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself as an adult.”

(UNICEF, Early Childhood)

The early years is now recognised as one of the most important developmental stages. Research shows a clear link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and poorer outcomes in later life. Studies into early brain development highlight the importance of ‘positive attachment and nurture’ for young children.

In Fife, we recognise the important role professionals and services perform in supporting young children and families. The Health Visiting Service and Early Years’ Service not only offer universal support to all families, but can also signpost and help co-ordinate support when families need some extra help.

Universal Health Visiting Pathway

In 2015, the Scottish Government published the Universal Health Visiting Pathway. The Pathway aims to give young families continuity with their Health Visitor and promote prevention and earlier intervention if support is needed. The programme consists of 11 home visits to all families – 8 within the first year of life, and 3 child health reviews between 13 months and 4-5 years.

Family Nurture Approach

The Family Nurture Approach began as a transformational change programme and is now considered a cornerstone of our early years work in Fife. The following videos provide an overview of the approach and some examples of how we support young families in Fife.

Family Nurture Approach Animation

This animation describes how we are embedding the Family Nurture Approach in Fife, transforming the way we deliver services.

Inside a Family Nurture Centre 

This video illustrates how we engage with families within our Family Nurture Centres as part of a Hub approach. It showcases some of the parenting programmes delivered within the centres and includes feedback from parents on the impact this has had.

Early Learning & Childcare (ELC)

Fife Council has 106 Early Years establishments offering a range of services for families. They also work with partner providers to offer a wider choice of provision to parents and carers.

As part of the Scottish Government’s plans to expand ELC, Fife Council are in the process of increasing the annual entitlement of funded Early Learning and Childcare from 600 to 1140 hours for all 3 and 4-year olds, as well as eligible 2-year olds.

Care Inspectorate - Care Standards

The Care Standards seek to provide better outcomes for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity; and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

The objectives of the Standards are to drive forward improvement, promote flexibility, and encourage innovation in how people are cared for and supported. The latest edition of the Standards focuses on people rather than policies, paperwork, and property.

Instead of setting out a list of inputs that all providers must meet, these Standards are much more outcome-focused and will help everyone think about what really matters – the experience of the person who uses care.

To find out more about the Standards and to access a range of helpful resources, visit the Care Inspectorate Hub.

Health & Social Care Standards Presentation