Public Health Scotland (PHS) has today published an overview of the key messages from the third round of The COVID-19 Early Years Resilience and Impact Survey, the findings of which were first published in January 2022.

Today’s briefing paper highlights that, while some families have reported positive impacts, the pandemic has made life more difficult for some families in Scotland. For a substantial proportion of children in the round 3 sample, parents and carers perceive the pandemic to have had a negative impact on child and family health and wellbeing. Around 3 in 10 children experienced difficulties with their emotions, behaviours and mental health, with the majority of parents reporting the pandemic to have had a negative impact on their own physical and mental health.

Dr Debby Wason, Public Health Intelligence Principal at PHS, said:

"PHS is grateful to all the families who took part in the surveys and shared their valuable insights and experiences. It is little surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions will have had an impact on the lives of all young people and their families in Scotland. Although children are less likely to suffer the direct health consequences of COVID-19, the effects of the pandemic are more likely to have affected their development, health and wellbeing. 

“What’s more, the impacts have been felt to a greater extent in families from low-income households. People who were already experiencing social inequalities and other challenges have been most negatively impacted”.

CEYRIS is an anonymous, cross-sectional survey administered online. PHS developed the survey to address a gap in the evidence base about wider impacts of the pandemic on young children and their families in Scotland. To date, there have been three rounds of the survey completed. Round 1 in June to July 2020, round 2 in November to December 2020 and round 3 in September to October 2021.

View the findings from all three rounds.

PHS continues to work with others in government, local government, in the third sector and in our communities, to develop changes to ensure children and young people can recover from the short term impacts of the pandemic. Moving forward, it will also be important to ensure processes are in place to monitor any longer term impacts of the pandemic on families across Scotland.

Last updated: 06 October 2022