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Origins of play@home

All babies born or living in Scotland are eligible for the play@home Baby book. As the roll-out across Scotland was staged, there are local variations as to when the programme first started. play@home was first used in Fife where children have been receiving books since 1999. Some other areas have only been receiving books for a year, with Western Isles receiving their play@home from January 2011.

The play@home programme originated in the Waikato region of New Zealand. It was adapted for Scotland and was first used in Fife, through a partnership between Fife Council Education Service and NHS Fife, before being introduced to other parts of Scotland. NHS Health Scotland has been tasked with the planning and delivery of the national rollout of play@home across Scotland through training for professionals.

It has not been possible for every health visitor to attend training. Not all health visitors need to have received specific play@home training to distribute the resources to parents. It is important to know about play@home and have an opportunity to look through the resources to allow any questions that may arise from clients to be answered.

Training for trainers has been delivered to early years workers from a variety of organisations by NHS Health Scotland and there are now many local trainers who will be able to advise  health visitors.