Support from the start

East Lothian community planning partners have made a commitment to ensuring joined up local service responses to health inequalities in the early years of life - pre birth - eight.

The main aim has been to facilitate and enable mainstream services to deliver support in a different and more effective way in response to community identified needs and strengths. The key principles which underpin ‘Support from the Start’ are community engagement, learning and leadership.

The outcomes that Support from the Start is working towards for children in East Lothian are :-

  • Have positive parenting and experience good attachments at an early stage
  • Are ready to learn and achieve
  • Can access quality child care experiences
  • Are healthy & happy
  • Are not living in poverty
  • Have a good opportunity for play, and
  • Are protected from harm

In addition to the above outcomes key priority areas for service were identified as follows:

  • Involving Parents, Children and Communities & Building Community Capacity
  • Streamlining Access to Services
  • Enhance targeted interventions for pre birth to 3
  • Enhancing support to pre-conception, ante-natal & pre-school parents
  • Improving children readiness to learn through play

In 2012 we established six area Support from the Start groups whose task was to engage with local parents, services and the wider community in delivering the Support from the Start outcomes. Each group has a core group with an identified leader and a wider mailing list and is working to a locally developed plan. The area groups report to the Support from the Start planning board chaired by the head of children’ services for East Lothian Council.