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Nearly one quarter of children are affected by poverty. With our programmes & campaigns, we aim to give every child the help they need to make their mark.

More than a quarter of children in Scotland live in poverty, and children experiencing poverty in the early years are twice as likely to have early learning & development difficulties.

Poverty makes it much harder for a child to achieve their potential at school, and harder for their parents to support their learning.

By the time they start school, many children in poverty are already falling behind their classmates.

As they grow, this education gap widens and can leave them at an unfair disadvantage. It's a huge challenge for children, teachers and parents.

Through our work we're aiming to give every child in Scotland the support they need to fulfil their potential.

Our Families Connect programme, for example, empowers parents to create a supportive home environment, so children can achieve their full potential at school and in life.

The impact of coronavirus on families

Mum and Dad Leanne and John with daughter Keira, 5, take part in Save the Children's UK Families Connect programme.

Mum and Dad Leanne and John with daughter Keira, 5, take part in Save the Children's UK Families Connect programme.

Families Connect

Families Connect is the outreach arm of the government's Read Write Count campaign and complements book gifting delivered by Scottish Book Trust, providing resources and support for families.  

Families Connect has been delivered since 2016, when it ran in 6 Scottish schools. With support from the Big Lottery Fund, the programme's rolled out to 13 local authority areas, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents:

  • 92% said it changed what they do at home
  • 69% said the programme changed relatives' behaviour
  • 97% would recommend Families Connect (65% had already)

"Families Connect has really helped me understand my child's learning and made me think about my parenting skills and make positive changes at home, which have helped the whole family.” - Parent

These numbers reflect similar findings in UK-wide evaluations, which have consistently shown a positive impact on the emotional wellbeing and behaviour of both children and parents.

Evaluations have also shown that parents who participate in Families Connect grow in confidence and spend more time engaging with their children and supporting their learning. 

As part of our work with the Scottish Government, we would like to promote the following Children's Rights Training Tool

Building Children's Places

Children’s Places is an area-based, community initiative that tackles disadvantage at a neighbourhood level to improve local children’s lives.

The project is made of community-based partnerships – where children, families and the wider community can shape services and work towards improvements through shared goals and governance.

Save the Children supports Children's Places in areas of Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire in Scotland.

We're creating guidance and resources for groups and practitioners on how to engage families, and particularly children, in community-led action planning, service planning and local development.

children's landscape logo

For more information, contact InfoScotland@savethechildren.org.uk


Play Scotland

Save the Children and Play Scotland have jointly launched a Play Well pack, which is packed full of suggestions, ideas and tips to support children's play and learning at home.  We've also launched a Play Well outdoors pack, full of ways for children to play and learn outside over the summer. 

There are games and activities designed for children aged three to six. These can easily be changed to suit younger or older children too. Lots of these activities help develop the skills that will be a good start for when they begin or go back to school.

 Going back to nursery or getting back to primary school is exciting but it might be an anxious time. This pack aims to help parents talk through these worries with their child.

Download your free Play Pack here.

Download your free Outdoors Play Pack here. 

Related reports

FAST Forward: 
Findings from independent research into the FAST programme

Learning lessons: 
Young people’s views on poverty and education in Scotland

Ready to read – Scotland:
Closing the early language skills gap so every child reads well

Thriving at two and beyond:
Improving uptake of funded early learning & childcare for 2-year-olds

A fair start for every child:
Why we must act now to tackle child poverty in the UK

Find out more

For more information about our work in Scotland, please call us on 0131 527 8200 or click the link below to send an email.

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