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A rapid review of key strategies to improve the cognitive and social development of children in Scotland

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  • Geddes, Rosemary
  • Frank, John
  • Haw, Sally

Abstract

Objectives Inequalities in health and educational outcomes in Scotland show a strong and persistent socioeconomic status gradient. Our aims were to provide policy-makers with a synthesis of international research evidence that assesses the effectiveness of early childhood interventions aimed at equitably promoting cognitive and social development and suggest potential areas for action in Scotland.Methods A rapid review was conducted of review level studies of early childhood interventions with outcome measures relating to child cognitive-language or social-emotional development, subsequent academic and life achievement. Websites were searched and interviews were conducted to identify relevant interventions, policies and programmes delivered in Scotland.Results : Early childhood intervention programmes can reduce disadvantage due to social and environmental factors. Scottish health policy demonstrates a clear commitment to early childhood development but much work remains in terms of detail of policy implementation, identification of high risk children and families, and early childhood monitoring systems.Conclusions Programmes should provide a universal seamless continuum of care and support from pregnancy through to school entry with the intensity of support graded according to need. The current information systems in Scotland would be inadequate for monitoring the effects of early childhood interventions especially in relation to cognitive-language and social-emotional development.

Suggested Citation

  • Geddes, Rosemary & Frank, John & Haw, Sally, 2011. "A rapid review of key strategies to improve the cognitive and social development of children in Scotland," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 20-28, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:20-28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.148353_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. *Unicef, 2007. "Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries," Papers inreca07/19, Innocenti Report Card.
    4. Hertzman, C. & Wiens, M., 1996. "Child development and long-term outcomes: A population health perspective and summary of successful interventions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1083-1095, October.
    5. John M. Love & Ellen E. Kisker & Christine Ross & Helen Raikes & Jill Constantine & Kimberly Boller & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Rachel Chazan-Cohen & Louisa Banks Tarullo & Christy Brady-Smith & Allison Si, "undated". "The Effectiveness of Early Head Start for 3-Year-Old Children and Their Parents: Lessons for Policy and Programs," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 10736b794ab64be890ae75757, Mathematica Policy Research.
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