Monday, 1 October 2012

Consulting on a Children & Young People Bill

CRFR recently submitted a response to the Scottish Government's consultation on a proposal for a Children & Young People Bill.

CRFR has undertaken a range of relevant research, to comment on key aspects of the Bill: i.e. children's rights, children's wellbeing and early learning and child care provision.

Our view was that the proposed Bill, if underlined by processes and commitments, could ensure that children's rights are given more breadth and depth in policy making and practice. Certainly, the Ministerial support for 'making rights real' for children is very welcome.

However, we raised a number of points for consideration. 
  • The Government should include a much clearer statement on how it will incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights on the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, including timeframes.
  • There needs to be more clarity on the duty on Scottish Ministers to "take appropriate steps to further the rights of children and young" and the duty should be extended to public bodies.
  • Children's rights need to be the overarching framework for the Bill, and duties on public bodies should be focused on improving rights -- which incorporate children's wellbeing.
  • Any strategies aimed at improving school readiness via a pre-school setting need to include, for disadvantaged children, strategies that seek to influence the child's home environment and parenting experiences at the same time.
  • Children should be consulted, along with parents, to develop early learning and childcare provision.
  • Developments in early learning and childcare must marry the need for high-quality care with flexible and accessible provision that also enables parents to take up employment. This is not happening for many families, particularly those in more disadvantaged circumstances or who are affected by disability.
 Please read our full response, with links to evidence, at:

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