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Physical and mental health for young children
Physical and mental health for young children

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Scotland has focused on early education since 2013 and ‘Realising the Ambition’ (Education Scotland, 2020) provides guidance aimed at supporting the provision of high-quality care and education so that Scotland can be the best place for children to grow up in and learn.

The cover of ‘Realising the ambition: being me. National practice guidance for early years in Scotland’
Figure 8 Realising the ambition

The Health and Social Care Standards (Scottish Government, 2017) include indicators of quality that relate to the provision of practice that if achieved can improve children’s health. For example, 1.12: ‘I am fully involved in assessing my emotional, psychological, social and physical needs at an early stage, regularly and when my needs change’. This standard highlights the importance of seeing the uniqueness of each child and having routines that meet their physical health needs, such as sleep and rest. The development of warm relationships between practitioners and children can affect wellbeing and contribute to them developing good mental health.

As children reach the age of 3, the Curriculum for Excellence (Education Scotland, 2010) includes guidance that is relevant until they reach the age of 18. The guidance aims to provide children with the knowledge that can help with good health, such as learning about healthy eating.