February 2017

Welcome to the February edition of the Maternal, Early Years, Children and Young People newsletter.

Follow the links below to go directly to the relevant sections


Child Poverty Bill published

The publication of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill will see Scotland become the only part of the UK with statutory targets, in a bid to reduce the number of children experiencing the damaging effects of poverty by 2030. Read about the Child Poverty Bill.

Films from NHS Health Scotland's childhood adversity event

The presentations and films from the 'Polishing our Gems - a call for action on childhood adversity' event are now available on the Health Scotland website. Please share this link with colleagues who may be interested in hearing more about preventing and responding to childhood adversity in Scotland. View the presentations and films on our website.

Call for assistance - Maternal and Early Years Network: new working group

At NHS Health Scotland we're undertaking an improvement project to review the Maternal and Early Years Network. We would like to establish a collaborative, short life working group to explore network activity to date, in areas such as governance, purpose, leadership and value. The group activities will take place online (with perhaps one meeting to agree recommendations). It will involve gathering a representative sample from the membership to identify priorities for improvement. We'd like the work to commence in March 2017 and be completed in two to three months.

If you have been an active member of this network and would like to be involved in this project, or would like further details, please contact Kathleen Laird, Senior Health Improvement Officer, Children, Young People and Families team at NHS Health Scotland.

Baby Boxes

The Scottish Government is gifting every newborn baby a box of essential items to help ensure they get the best start in life. The Baby Box concept is intended to encourage engagement by expectant mothers with maternity and antenatal services. The Baby Box will be rolled out to all newborns by the summer of 2017. Read about Baby Boxes on the Scottish Government website.

Scotland's Tobacco-free Generation charter

Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is a Scottish Government initiative to help deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034. A number of children's rights organisations have signed up to Taking Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland's charter which links closely with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. To date active charter supporter numbers have passed 105 members. To find out how to become a charter supporter, visit the ASH Scotland website.

A number of nurseries have also engaged with the charter and the Play Away Nursery in Glasgow goes beyond just asking staff not to smoke around children - they actively encourage staff to stop smoking. The nursery is working to ensure that parents and carers do no smoke around collecting areas. Read about why nurseries value the charter on the ASH Scotland blog.

Scotland's Play Charter - have you pledged your support?

Scotland's Play Charter describes a collective commitment to play for all children and young people. It builds on the Scottish Government's Play Strategy for Scotland and the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach to supporting children, young people and their families. Pledge your support for the Play Charter on the Play Scotland website.

Children affected by imprisonment - PhD studentship available

Do you have an interest in the early years, prisons, fathers, parenting and interventions? Early Years Scotland is collaborating with the University of Glasgow's Social and Public Health Science Unit to co-fund the studentship, the outcomes of which will be invaluable in helping the further development of the Fathers' Programme. For more information and application details visit the FindAPhD website.

Find local Bookbug sessions

Banish the winter blues with a fun session of songs, rhymes and stories with your little one. Find out where your nearest Bookbug session is and come and join in!

Scotland's first national learning Disability Awards!

Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities (SCLD) are launching Scotland's first national Learning Disability Awards! Applications can be submitted from Monday 23 January to Monday 6th March 2017. Find out more on the SCLD website.

International School Meals Day 2017

International School Meals Day 2017 is taking place on 9 March. Pupils across the world will be asked to engage through social media to share experiences, stories and news about food linked to their lives, families and their local communities. 2017's theme is 'food, culture and heritage'. Find out more about the social media activities on the International School Meals Day website.

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New health inequalities resources from NHS Health Scotland

NHS Health Scotland have produced a number of new health inequalities briefings:

Outcomes framework for Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young Parents Strategy

NHS Health Scotland has launched a new web resource for the outcomes framework developed for the national Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young Parents (PPYP) Strategy. Access the topic framework on our Outcomes Framework website.

Health and Social Care Delivery plan

The Scottish Government has published its Health and Social Care Delivery plan which sets out a series of actions to change and improve how the NHS operates.

2016 Annual Report on the Child Poverty Strategy for Scotland

The Scottish Government has published the Annual Report on the Child Poverty Strategy for Scotland - 2016. You can read an analysis of responses from the consultation too.

State of Child Health Report - 2017 recommendations for Scotland

The report outlines the recommendations for Scotland by the Scottish Committee of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Human rights in Scotland case studies

Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights has produced a series of case studies profiling how communities in Scotland are using human rights to tackle poor housing, challenge poverty and improve health.

Learning and school life in Scotland: a Children's Parliament report

In the 'School should be a joyful place' report, the Scottish Government's Education Governance Review prompted the Children's Parliament to reflect on what children have been sharing with them, regarding their experiences of school and learning.

Review of care and support for children and young people with complex needs

The Department of Health report, 'These are our children: a review by Dame Christine Lenehan', Director of the Council for Disabled Children, makes 11 recommendations for government departments and partners at a national level on how to improve the support system.

Maternity and Neonatal Service review in Scotland

The Scottish Government Review of Maternity and Neonatal services in Scotland sets out a vision for the future planning, design and safe delivery of high quality maternity and neonatal services in Scotland. It puts the family at the centre of decisions so that all women, babies and their families get the highest quality of care according to their needs.

Playing Together Report 2016

The Playing Together report from Play Scotland and Youthlink Scotland aims to ensure the play and youth sectors continue to promote their shared vision - making Scotland the best place to be young and grow up.

Chief Executive of Play Scotland on children's play and toxic urban environments

Play Scotland's Marguerite Hunter-Blair has written a piece for Play England on the impact of environmental pollution on children 's play, and responses to it - both internationally and in Scotland.

Resource - Block building in the early years

Education Scotland's Block Play supports practitioners in improving their understanding of the use of block play to support children's learning.

Practice briefing - Early years and physical activity

The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health practice briefing for early years is designed to give practitioners and managers of early years settings practical ideas for promoting physical activity with the under fives.

Booklet explains Children's Right to Play

The International Play Association Scotland booklet on Children's Right to Play provides essential reading for students, play practitioners, policy makers and advocates for play. The resources helps to explore the right to play, and aims to give a richer understanding of article 31 of the UN Conventions of the Rights of the Child.

Play Scotland booklet on experimental play launches

After the success of the Messy Play and Culture Play booklets, Play Scotland is delighted to launch Experimental Play. Contact Play Scotland for a free booklet.

ASH Scotland's annual Report for 2015/16

Taking Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland's vision is of a healthier Scotland, free from the harm and inequality caused by tobacco. ASH Scotland's annual report discuss its work and achievements up to March 2016.

The Alliance's 2016 annual Report

The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland annual report for 2016 highlights some of the organisation's key activities over the course of its tenth anniversary year.

A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People delivery plan to 2021

The Scottish Government has published its delivery plan for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The plan has been delivered after lengthy consultation with people living with disabilities, representative organisations and key stakeholders from across Scotland.

Enable Scotland's survey of young people with learning disabilities

In December 2016 Enable Scotland published included in the Main?! - 22 steps on the journey to inclusion, outlining its national conversation about educational inclusion.

See Me campaign supports young people through everyday life stresses

See Me, Scotland's programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, has launched their 'It's Okay' campaign and a new 'What's On Your Mind?' pack.

Alcohol Focus Scotland's website focusses on drink's impact on family relationships

Alcohol Focus Scotland's website, My Family and Alcohol, includes information to help people reflect on the impact that their drinking may be having on their family relationships.

Eat Better Feel Better campaign to help parents make veg the hero

New research reveals almost a third (29%) of parents surveyed have at some point given up trying to feed their children vegetables. As part of this year's Eat Better Feel Better drive, kids are being challenged with The Big Veg Challenge, with the aim of encouraging children to try a new vegetable every day for five days.

New Eatwell learning resource on healthy diets

The interactive Eatwell guide provides advice on how to get a balance of healthier and more sustainable food. It covers the different food groups and the proportions we should be eating, in a fun and interactive way.

Understanding and using food labels - learning resource for schools

Food and Drink Federation Scotland has created a resource to help teachers and pupils understand how to read food labels. The resource aims to help pupils make informed food choices and learn what information legally needs to be on a food label.

Article advising families on car seat safety

The correct use of car seats for babies and children can be confusing. Read the Child Accident Prevention Trust's article advising families on car seat safety.


Wild Sparks's Winter Play training workshops

Date: 4 March

Location: Edinburgh

Free workshop - How to deliver the Place Standard tool in your community

Date: 2 March

Location: Edinburgh

Positive mental health in children and young people

Date: 7 March

Location: Dundee

The nurture factor: supporting better environments and learning for two year olds

Date: 13 March

Location: Glasgow

It hurts too much to feel: working with extreme defence mechanisms in children and young people

Date: 16 March

Location: Glasgow

Income maximisation for families

Date: 22 March

Location: Glasgow

Working together not falling apart - Designing, delivering and surviving health and social care integration

Block I: 19 June and 26 June

Block II: 27 September and 11 October

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Scottish Policy Conferences keynote seminar - next steps for mental health in Scotland


23 February





The Community Health Exchange national conference


1 March





Community Development Alliance Scotland Annual Conference


7 March





The National Playwork Conference


7 and 8 March





Enquire Annual Conference - Ensuring every child has a positive school experience


16 March





Bookbug Conference - The Power of Picture Books


22 March



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