Report: How can co-production support the Early Years?


A graphic facilitation summary of the day.

In late March the Scottish Co-production Network and Dundee Integrated Children's Services came together for an day to ask the question: how can co-produciton support the early years?

Across Scotland, partners from community planning, social services, health, education, police, the third sector and community organisations, are working together to ensure that every baby, child, mother, father and family in Scotland has access to the best supports available to them. The world's first national multi-agency quality improvement programme, The Early Years Collaborative, aims to take the high level principles set out in GIRFEC and the Early Years Framework into practical action.

The event aimed to examine how co-production could support those working at a local level in improving outcomes and reducing inequalities for Scotland’s families. This event explored how families and communities can be supported in shaping services and influencing change at a local level.

The day itself featured a range of groups and organisations from across Dundee and Scotland to come together to share their experiences around co-production. Barbara Allan of the Scottish Community Development Network (which hosts the Network) and Nicky McCrimmon of the Lockee Early Years Pathfinder introduced the day, giving an outline of the work the Network carries out and introducing the day as an event for organisations and individuals to come together to share learning and experiences around co-production and the early years.

This was followed by Maureen McAteer of the Early Years Practice Development Team at the Scottish Government who gave an introduction to her work and he national context for the Early Years Collaborative. She spoke about the the importance of prevention and early interventions, and, quoting the Early Years Framework: "there should be a shift in focus from doing things for or to people, to enabling them to support themselves their families and communities."

You can view Maureen's presentation here.

After this introduction to the day, attendees were treated with some workshops discussions from four organsations and groups that have been carrying out co-productive work within the context of the early years development. They were:

  • Discoverin’ Bairns – Audrey Thomson
  • Healthy Valleys – Julia Miller 
  • Dads Care – Brian Hunter & Douglas Kennedy 
  • Storybooks – Beth Cross


A graphic facilitation of the workshops

Each of the presenters spoke about their work and then opened the floor up for discussion, giving a chance for folks to ask questions as well as explore how other people were working. The discussions were great and the insight gained from the workshops presenters gave some practical examples of co-production in action. Presenters spoke about how their work reflects the ideas of shifting power from 'service providers' to 'service users' and how they are using the assets, skills, knowledge of people, families and professionals in a more equal way.

These are films of the workshop presenters. 

Storypockets & Dadscare

Healthy Valleys

Discoverin' Bairds