Early Years Scotland response to the SNP's General Election Manifesto launch, 30 May 2017.
Early Years Scotland welcomes the SNP’s commitment to invest meaningfully and significantly in the early years of children’s lives, as we know that this is the most important and sound investment that any country can make.
Our children are the future, and it is our responsibility to ensure that every child has a fair and equal start. Well before children start school, the terrible inequality gap has already firmly established itself, with many children from disadvantaged circumstances already being 13-18 months behind in their vocabulary development, than their more advantaged P1 class-mates.
How can this be fair?
Early Years Scotland therefore welcomes the commitment to increase to 1140 hours, high quality funded Early Learning and Childcare for all three and four year olds, and two year olds from low income households by 2021.
The SNP manifesto also refers to the Scottish Attainment Challenge and the Pupil Equity Fund, both of which we welcome, although we believe that explicit concerns and funding relating to equity sits firmly in the early years, and that we should not wait until children start school.
Early Years Scotland welcomes any and all additional powers for the Scottish Parliament, where this results in more and better support and resources for young children and their families.
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