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Families at the margins : mechanisms of inequality and early transition strategies to promote positive change and inclusion

Marwick, Helen and Dunlop, Aline-Wendy and Carey, Jenny and Martlew, Joan (2014) Families at the margins : mechanisms of inequality and early transition strategies to promote positive change and inclusion. In: European Early Childhood Educational Research Association Conference, Crete, Greece, Sept 2014, 2014-09-07 - 2014-09-10.

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Abstract

Using population cohort information to understand mechanisms by which poverty can mediate inequalities in children’s development and inclusion, and to identify early transition strategies to support positive change for children and families. Poverty is the primary Scottish issue that creates inequalities of educational, social and health experience and outcomes, causing barriers to inclusion and failure to recognise diversity. Identification of key elements in experience by which the impact of poverty on development may be media ted, could enable strategies at transition into nursery to optimise opportunities for support for positive change for parents and children on the margins of Scottish society. The Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study provides longitudinal data with an unparalleled scope of breadth and depth in relation to the circumstances around children’s development. Using findings from this data and government reviews into children’s development, detailed predictive factors of children’s social, cognitive and health outcomes can be identified, enabling key messages for supportive transition strategies to be drawn out. All government review and GUS population data is fully anonymised. Early findings suggest key roles for levels of activity and in teraction experienced by children with their caregivers as well as specific types of engagement and communication environment as mechanisms by which the impact of poverty is mediated. A focus on supporting optimal engagement for children and families, enhancing shared experience and interpersonal understanding, could help transitions to nursery environment act as a tool for positive change.