How can I help address inequalities and support growth and development in 5-8s?

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Key messages for parents, grandparents and other care-givers

Those who care for children can be supported to aid the development of listening and attention skills and speech, language and communication in 5-8s through promotion of the following key messages:

  • Encourage parents to support their child's school learning by helping with homework and taking an interest in their life at school
  • Parents should be encouraged to engage with their child's school as much as they can and take part in any activities or volunteering opportunities offered
  • Parents should be supported to ensure infants and children get the food they need and are weaned well - see advice in our section on Nutrition and inequalities in 5-8s
  • Encourage parents to look after their own and their child's mental health - see advice in our section on mental health and wellbeing
  • Encourage parents to have have fun with their children and play, talk and read with them daily - see advice in our sections on play and health inequalities from 5-8 years and speech, language and communication development
  • Encourage parents and carers to make sure the home is a safe place for children - see advice our section on child safety

Parents who are having difficulties or who are worried about their child's growth and development, shouldbe supported 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.

Please also see below for further resources.

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:

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