Pre-Birth to Three

Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families

The national guidance and multimedia resource has been designed to support all staff working with young children. It also recognises and values the importance of parents as they understand their child better than anyone else. Parents and carers have the biggest influence on a child’s development, particularly in the early years. Staff and parents sharing information with each other is key to providing the best possible start for children.

There are four key principles that EFN staff work to, these are:

Rights of the Child

Children begin to find out about their rights from a very early age often through relationships and the way others treat them. How can you help your child?

  • Children need to play and have a right to play. Even from birth, making time to play with your child means that they learn about their world, about people and about themselves
  • Listen to your child’s views and preferences and involve them in making decisions
  • Think about how your actions will impact on your child


Even before your baby is born they have formed a relationship with you. Good relationships are essential to your baby’s health and well being. How can you help your child?

  • Know that bonding begins before birth because your baby is already able to hear your voice and they find it reassuring and comforting
  • Give your child lots of smiles, hugs, reassurance and love
  • Although your baby might not seem to understand what you are saying, they may giggle and make noises so take time to chat to them

Responsive Care

When parents are responsive and affectionate, babies start to feel secure within themselves. How can you help your child?

  • Enjoy your child’s company and show them that they are special
  • Pay close attention to your child, so that you can be in tune with what they are telling you, for example through their facial expressions
  • By being responsive when your child cries, you are letting them know that they are loved and cared for and that will make them feel secure


Children gain confidence and feel respected when they can see that their opinions shape and inform
decisions that affect them. How can you help your child?

  • Treat your child with respect and this will encourage them to have respect for others
  • Children need to feel appreciated so let them know when you are happy about something they have done
  • Try to give your child clear boundaries as they grow and develop to help them learn about self control and how their actions may affect other