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Aberdeenís Early Years Change Fund launched

18/01/13

A large audience of professionals working in the early years' sector has been addressed by keynote speakers Sir Harry Burns and Dr Suzanne Zeedyk at the launch of the Early Years Change Fund in Aberdeen.

The agreed priorities for the Early Years Change Fund in Aberdeen are to:

understand why and how positive and secure attachment forms a prerequisite of any intervention with children and families;

provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to support the roll out of this strategy. The CPD should include high quality input on an increased understanding of attachment theory and practice, child development, pre-birth to three, empathy, resilience and nurture theory and practice;

deliver on prevention through universal services and targeted interventions;

involve all partners in a shared vision and co-ordinated support approach to working with and delivering services to parents and families;

provide improved services to parents and children and to target specific, more vulnerable groups as appropriate;

deliver a comprehensive parenting strategy.

The funding will be rolled out over 3 years. The launch of the Early Years Change Fund in Aberdeen has taken place in advance of the new Early Years Collaborative. The Scottish Government will launch a programme to drive forward early years in Scotland next week.

Sir Harry Burns is the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland with responsibility that includes public health policy and health protection and has policy responsibility for sport in Scotland.

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk is an Honorary Follow of the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee. Suzanne's work focuses on parent-infant relationships. She is frequently invited to speak to groups of parents and professionals on the importance of such relationships, and how babies' early experiences influence the development of their brain, bodies and psyche.

Suzanne works closely with organisations such as the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Homestart, Kids Taskforce and a number of councils and Early Years Partnerships, including Aberdeen. Her key aim is to increase awareness of the extent to which, when making decisions about the care we give to children, we are also making decisions about the kind of society we wish to build.

Aberdeen City Council's services manager for schools Liz Gillies, said: "The vision is to strengthen and increase the quality and quantity of support available to families with children by building on some of the excellent practice already delivered in Aberdeen. The intention is to increase the provision that is known to work well and also to deliver additional services which are proven through evidence based practice, ensuring that there is a coordinated continuum of provision and support.

"We were delighted to have Sir Harry Burns and Dr Suzanne Zeedyk at our launch event."