The prospect of swingeing cuts to public services will not deflect the Scottish Government from its early-intervention commitment, ministers pledged last week.
The day after Chancellor George Osborne's emergency Budget last week, Education Secretary Michael Russell said the Scottish Government's resolve to tackle social problems through intervening in the first few years of a child's life remained undented.
Far from using the economic climate as an excuse for short-term fixes, he wanted to "accelerate" work in the early years, he said.
Unprecedented pressure on the public purse demanded that efforts were ploughed into early intervention in order to reduce the long-term costs of poor education, ill health and crime, he added.
Improved support for young children and their families was "the key to addressing many of Scotland's deep-seated social problems like poverty and poor health, poor attainment and anti-social behaviour". HH.