This week saw the publication of the 10-year report of the Growing up in Scotland study.
It showed time spent reading to children at 10 months, children’s vocabulary at age three and mental wellbeing of primary carer have all improved in recent years, as well as a reduction in inequalities in relation to early cognitive ability and breastfeeding rates.
However inequality in Scotland remains “stark” according to the report.
Neil Mathers, Save the Children’s Head of Scotland said: “It is clear from today’s report that growing up in Scotland is still a very different experience for the poorest children compared to their better-off friends and neighbours.
“It is deeply concerning that more than a quarter of our poorest children are not experiencing the benefits of books and stories in their first ten months of life. It is worrying still that over half of children from the poorest backgrounds are starting school without the language skills they need to learn how to read and thrive in the classroom.”
Quality of contribution from parents and formal education in early years is highlighted in the report as being fundamental to closing the gap.
Politicans of all sides have talked about 'equality of opportunity' in recent weeks. It is clear that needs to be embedded from the very beginning of life.