Early Child Development

Improving early child development is a priority for CYPIC. We know that what happens in the very earliest years can influence someone’s whole life and that we need to build on all the good work we have already done in Scotland, and going on around the country, to make sure we get it right for every baby.


At the CYPIC National Conference 2022, Professor Linda Bauld outlined the current evidence and delegates told us what they think is working well and could be improved.


Following on from this, we worked with experts to develop a national theory of change for Early Child Development (below), based on the evidence and the Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development (  This was introduced at the CYPIC National Conference 2023 on the main stage in a session about the importance of Focus, Connection and Method.


The need for renewed focus on early child development was also discussed in the conference session for Children's Services Strategic Planning Leads: Improving Futures Through Children’s Services Planning Workshop - CYPIC 2023


Download the Theory of Change (pdf)


The Scottish Government is seeking to transform how we work together to make sure all babies and young children experience the nurturing care they need from before they are born. To do this, the national CYPIC team are helping to coordinate and progress a programme bringing together policy areas from across government applying the Quality Improvement Journey. More information is available here: Early child development transformational change programme - (


You can explore data on early child development collected through child health reviews on the Public Health Scotland dashboard: HEYS Dashboard (


Language and communication development is the most frequent concern we are seeing at 27-30 months and is fundamental to wider development and outcomes. More information can be found here: Early Language and Communication Development

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