How can I help address inequalities and support growth and development in 3-5s?

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Key messages for parents, grandparents and other care-givers

Please see the advice given in our section on on growth and development in 0-3s, most of which is relevant to 3-5s.

  • All parents should be encouraged to take up their child's free pre-school place. Pre-school education helps children prepare for primary school and will help them overcome any disadvantages they face.
  • Support parents to ensure infants and children get the food they need and are weaned well - see advice in our section on Nutrition and inequalities in 0-3s.
  • Parents should be supported to look after their own and their child's mental health - see our section on mental health and wellbeing.
  • Parents should be supported to help their child feel secure by reacting positively to 'attention seeking' behaviours - see advice in our section on parenting.
  • Parents should be encouraged to have fun with their children and play, talk and read with them daily - see advice in our sections on play@home and speech, language and communication development.
  • Parents and carers should be supported to to make sure their home is a safe place for children - see advice in our section on child safety.
  • Parents who are having difficulties or who are worried about their child's growth and development, should be encouraged to seek help early and speak to their midwife, health visitor or GP.

Information on parenting issues and details of local sources of support can be found by visiting Parenting Across Scotland (external link) or call ParentLine Scotland on 0800 028 2233.

Lots of tips, advice and suggestions for activities are available online at the Play, Talk, Read website.

Please also see below for further resources.

Pre-school staff and childminders

In addition to the advice given in our section on growth and development in 0-3s for nursery staff and childminders:

  • Involve parents in their child's pre-school education by giving them regular updates on progress.
  • Organise and engage children in activities consistent with the higher-learning objectives set out in the Curriculum for Excellence at the Early Level.
  • Raise any problems you encounter with the child's parents.
  • Be prepared to explain your observations in ways they can understand while recommending sources of information and support.
  • Make sure you have access to a range of parent information resources in a variety of formats.
  • Encourage parents to seek further help early if problems are suspected and be ready with details of supportive organisations and services.

Lots of tips, advice and suggestions for activities are available online at the Play, Talk, Read website.

Please also see below for further resources.

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Teachers

Primary school teachers are in a unique position where they can professionally assess the development of children and assist parents to help their children achieve their potential.

  • Involve parents in their child's education by giving them regular updates on progress and engaging them through homework tasks.
  • Be sensitive to the child's home situation and the capabilities of parents.
  • Create opportunities for parents to become involved with in-school activities, such as trips, sports days, school shows and fundraisers.
  • Raise any behavioural problems you encounter with the child's parents.
  • Be prepared to explain your observations in ways they can understand, while recommending sources of information and support.
  • Refer early for assessment for additional support for learning if you suspect developmental problems.

Health visitors, social workers, GPs, practice nurses, service managers and commissioners and voluntary sector workers and managers

Healthcare staff, social workers, service managers and commissioners and voluntary sector workers and managers can help in the following ways:

In addition, you should encourage and support parents to enrol their child in and attend pre-school education.

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