Giving every child the best start in life


Our children and young people have the best start in life and Perth and Kinross is the best place in Scotland to grow up.

The Challenges

To ensure that every child has the best start in life we will need to: 

  • Tackle inequalities; work to eradicate the consequences of poverty and close the gap in attainment and achievement between those who are most deprived and least deprived.
  • Strengthen families and build resilient communities; work with parents to support a healthy pregnancy and the earliest years of a child’s life. This will help make sure early interventions have the greatest impact.
  • Meet the needs of our most vulnerable children, young people and families; work to identify, at an earlier stage, those who would benefit most from personalised and intensive support to increase their resilience and build their own independent support network.

What we are doing

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The Community Planning Partnership reaffirms our shared and longstanding commitment to Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), which ensures that our children and young people are offered the right help at the right time from the right people.

We continue to strive to improve the life chances and choices for our children and young people.

We ensure our work reflects national legislation, strategies and policies such as all relevant parts of The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

We continue to promote family-friendly working practices, to ensure that people with children can access and sustain employment, study or training. We recognise the need to make sure we provide high-quality, flexible and affordable childcare (particularly for parents on low incomes and/or living in rural areas) allowing parents to work if they wish and which will also improve children’s pre-school development. This will include increasing the entitled amount of early learning and childcare from 600 hours to 1,140 hours.

At the core of helping us to achieve our vision is the Tayside Plan for Children, Young People and Families 2017-2020, the first joint plan to be produced by the three Community Planning areas of Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross. The plan reflects our shared priorities for children, young people and families.  It outlines the evidence and research which has helped form our priorities within this Community Plan.  It has also shaped our actions. i.e. the work that needs to be continued to achieve our short, medium and long term goals.

To help us achieve our ambition it is important that we are commissioning the right services and support, which will have the greatest impact on our children, young people and the families and communities which they are a part of.  The Council’s Education and Children’s Services Commissioning Strategy 2017-2020 sets out the approach to commissioning services for children, youngpeople and families whilst providing a firm foundation for generating joint approaches to the strategic commissioning of services with Council partners.

 Whilst the health of expectant mothers across Perth and Kinross is similar to the Scottish average there are communities which experience much higher rates of smoking and using drugs throughout pregnancy.  It is these differences in pregnancy and early years that our Health Visiting Pathway and Family Nurse Partnership Programme aim to reduce.

To help reduce the number of children who are at risk of obesity, nurseries and schools are being encouraged to participate in The Daily Mile, a simple initiative which motivates children to run or walk for 15 minutes every day.   Additionally, we have been piloting Food, Families and Fun programmes in targeted areas to help tackle childhood obesity.

In recent years the number of child concern reports has been increasing which reflects the work The Child Protection Committee has been undertaking to ensure that everyone is aware that keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility.

The Child Protection Committee (CPC) continues to be dedicated to the protection of children and young people in Perth and Kinross.  One of the ways the CPC safeguards and promotes the wellbeing of children is through its work promoting the development of staff from all partners.  Learning and development sessions are offered across a wide range of subjects such as Child Sexual Exploitation and Working with Children and Families affected by Parental Substance use.

Our commitment to ensuring our children and young people who are looked after or are care-experienced have the same outcomes as those who are not, is set out within the Corporate Parenting Plan 2017-2020.

Under The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, provision has been made to support young people, up to the age of 26, who have been in care.  This provides a bridge from the protected status of a looked after child into adult independence.

What next and what difference will it make?

As a partnership we have identified the following priorities to make sure every child is given the best start in life.  These are:-

1. Ensure our children will have the best start in life; they will be cared for and supported to learn in nurturing environments.


We will work alongside families to improve children’s wellbeing and encourage early social and emotional development. In partnership with parents and carers, we will support children in their early years to make sure all children and young people in Perth and Kinross are given the best start in life. Children belong in families therefore ensuring parents are supported in developing the skills they need as parents has been a focus of the work of the partnership.

By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • Improved outcomes for maternity and births (such as stillbirth and smoking during pregnancy).
  • At least 85% of children within each Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile reaching all of their developmental milestones at the time of their child health reviews.
  • At least 85% of children within each SIMD quintile successfully achieving early level literacy, numeracy and progressing in health and wellbeing.

2. Ensure our children and young people are physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.


We will improve the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of children and young people through early advice, support and education. Our services will equip young people to make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce their involvement in risk taking or harmful behaviours such as substance use, unsafe sex, poor diet and lack of exercise.

By 2018/19 there will be:

  • An increase in the percentage of Primary 1 (P1) children in SIMD Quintiles 1 and 2 who are free from dentine disease.
  • Full implementation of the Tayside Mental Health Strategy for Children and Young People.
  • An increase in the number of distinct participants involved in physical activity and competitive sports.

By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • A reduction in the percentage of Primary 1 (P1) children whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is within the top 5%.
  • An increase in the number of young people being supported to develop their resilience and coping skills.
  • More young people, parents/carers and practitioners being empowered to support other young people to have positive wellbeing, and managing minor mental health issues.
  • By 2027/2028 there will be:-

    3. Ensure our children and young people who experience particular inequalities and disadvantage will achieve health, wellbeing and educational outcomes comparable with all other children and young people. .


    We will focus resources on groups of children and young people that are more likely to experience inequalities and poor outcomes in health, wellbeing, education and post-school destinations. We commit to closing the various “gaps”, increasing accessibility and broadening opportunities.

    By 2018/19 there will be:

  • An increased number of care leavers aged 16-18 achieving equal outcomes to their peers, in educational attainment.
  • By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • A reduced percentage of young carers being assessed at the highest level of support need.
  • A reduction in the number of young people requiring residential car
  • 4. Ensure our children and young people will be safe and protected from harm at home, school and in the community.


      Our approaches to protecting vulnerable children and young people will be integrated and focused on early identification, and immediate and effective intervention to remove and reduce the risk of significant harm.

    By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • Better support through our GIRFEC pre-birth approach for vulnerable pregnant women. This will be evidenced using an outcome focused measurement tool.
  • Fewer children admitted to hospital due to an unintentional injury.
  • A smaller percentage of children and young people re-registered on the Child Protection Register.

    Outcome Delivery Group

    The Children, Young People & Families Partnership is responsible for planning and overseeing actions which support the delivery of this strategic objective.

    Third Sector Forum

    The Children, Family and Young People’s Forum includes voluntary and charitable organisations which work with children, families and young people.

    Supporting Strategies

    The Community Planning Partnership’s Parenting Strategy.

    The Scottish Government’s National Play Strategy.

    Tayside Plan for Children, Young People and Families.

    Parenting Strategy


    Evidence2Success is a project that aims to enhance the safe and healthy development of children and young people in Perth and Kinross.

    Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee (CPC) publishes an annual CPC Standards and Quality Report which presents an annual high level overview of our inter-agency child protection activities.

    Useful Links

    Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee works in partnership with the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership (CYPFP), which provides leadership, direction, scrutiny and support to the CPC.

    Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is the national approach in Scotland for improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people.

    Early Learning and Childcare in Perth and Kinross.

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