In Greater Manchester we are committed to ensuring at all our children are ready for school and ready for life. Our revised Early Years strategy ‘Starting Well’ will build in the successes and strengths of the New Delivery Model and will be widened to include broader aspects of Early Years such as reducing child abuse in the context of ‘place based’ public sector reform.
We have been developing and rolling out our ‘Early Years New Delivery Model’ which is a programme of evidence based assessments and interventions to improve outcomes for children. Our programme includes evidence based assessments, including ASQ 3 and evidence based interventions such as developing the skills of health visitors in conjunction with infant psychologists to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of infants and their parents. It also includes delivery of evidence-based parenting programmes. The programme is a partnership between health services, Children’s Centres, independent and charitable providers and early education with improving the quality of education seen as key to improving outcomes for children. We are working on improving children’s communication and language as well as on ensuring that all 2, 3, and 4 year olds have access to settings rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
Working in partnership with parents is central to the project so we are developing the workforce to work flexibly and build their skills to work in an empowering and client centred way using high quality interpersonal skills.
Children who are developing well at age 3 are highly likely to perform better throughout school and into adulthood. Early Years is seen as a key priority across Greater Manchester because it is recognised that pregnancy to age 3 is a crucial time for development of secure attachment, rich language development and healthy physical growth.
Jill Beswick, Early Years Workforce Development Lead, Greater Manchester Public Service Reform Team