The Early Years Taskforce was launched in November to assess the best way of redirecting money spent on children to put more emphasis on prevention and early intervention.
The early years fund is priced at £272 million, although only £50m of this is new money, the rest contributed by the NHS and local councils from existing resources.
The taskforce has now published a document setting out its Shared Vision and Priorities for deploying the cash. The priorities it lists include supporting play, nurture and good parenting, helping develop the early years workforce and making sure all policies are backed by evidence.
The strategy was launched by Children's Minister Aileen Campbell MSP at a joint conference held by the Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland.
Ms Campbell said the strategy was built on four principles: preventing problems in young lives occurring, intervening early when they do, supporting communities and helping public bodies to work better in partnership.
"The total resource for the early years fund may be modest but this is a huge opportunity and a starting point," she said.
"We know that the Government will save £9 for every £1 spent on intervention."
She said spending already announced would bring tangible benefits, including the £4.5m Families and Communities Fund, another £4.5m fund providing childcare for vulnerable children in care under the age of two, and £3m to provide play opportunities.
Speaking after Scotland's chief medical officer Harry Burns – a member of the early years taskforce – had given a presentation on the opportunities to change the lives of vulnerable children, Ms Campbell described his contribution as inspiring, adding: "We have the opportunity to really change a generation."
She conceded that this might involve tackling some resistance in councils and health boards. "Nobody is predicting it will be easy, this will require delicate handling and sensitive discussions," she said.
There was an indication of this in a presentation from Isabel Hutton, social policy executive for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).
Ms Hutton said she supported aspirations for early intervention, but added: "Councils have limited scope to do much that is radical. It is not a big fund and most of the resources that will support the change programme will come from existing budgets."
She called for transparency if agencies are to pool their resources, saying: "We've played this with a straight bat. We expect health boards will be forthcoming with the breakdown of their funding across children's services."
Andrew Lowe, ADSW president said: "Inevitably there are vested interests. Cosla are saying councils have already set their budgets and the NHS board tend to say we've got no money. We've all got to be bigger than that.
"There are some really good things going on. This is about drawing on the evidence to look at ways to improve the experience of our children in the early years. We know many of the things that work, so why wouldn't we implement them?"