Early Years

There is increasing recognition of the importance of the Early Years and of services which provide early intervention to address vulnerability and prevent potential exclusion.

Realising the Ambition: Being Me

The guidance builds on the original principles and philosophy of Pre-Birth to 3 and Building the Ambition. This refreshed early years national practice guidance for presents key information about the characteristics of child development based on research and evidence. More HERE

Early Level Play Pedagogy Toolkit

This toolkit supports practitioners working with children in the Early Level to use play pedagogy to support learning and development. It is designed to be used in conjunction with Curriculum for Excellence and the guidance ‘Realising the Ambition: Being Me’. More HERE

How good is our early learning and childcare?

Education Scotland have revised the framework for self-evaluation for the early learning and childcare sector in consultation with practitioners. More HERE

Early Learning and Childcare is Changing

The entitlement to 1140 hours a year of Early Learning and Childcare explained. More HERE

Free training modules for early learning practitioners

The single most important driver of the quality of a child’s early learning and childcare (ELC) experience is a high quality workforce. Modules will be released throughout 2020. More HERE

Been in a  boring Board Meeting recently?

Watch how Sprog Rock do it (Oh, and they create songs and music with children). More HERE

Out to Play

Step-by-step guidance and practical advice for early learning and childcare practitioners on how to access outdoor spaces to create safe, nurturing and inspiring outdoor learning experiences. More HERE

Listening to children and using the arts

Despite a growing culture of ‘listening to children’, opportunities for young children to be meaningfully involved in developing the services and policies that affect them remain limited. Researchers from Strathclyde University have been exploring whether the arts can help ensure our youngest citizens have a voice. More HERE

Settling children when starting primary school

Practical tips for younger children starting school or changing school. More HERE

Early learning and childcare recruitment and training

A guide for funded early learning and childcare providers on support available for training and recruitment. Download the pdf doc HERE

When kids of mixed ages play together there are benefits for all

Younger and older children are naturally drawn to each other in play. More HERE

2% of Early Years staff are male

The GenderEYE project and Fatherhood Institute want to find out why so few. More HERE

Anyone can play

Anyone Can Play is part of the Zero Tolerance Talking Gender series. It is all about how to talk to people about Gender Stereotypes and their effect on children. More HERE

Early learning and childcare: resources toolkit

This toolkit brings together a whole host of helpful material for parents and carers about the changes in the ELC landscape. More HERE

Family Nurse Partnership

New report identifies the value of the FNP model. More HERE

The benefits of unsupervised play

Free play helps children develop important skills, they become more social and more active. More HERE

Learning through play

Have you ever watched a child at play and wondered why they are continually repeating certain actions? Perhaps the child is engaging in schematic play. More HERE

Play Scotland’s Parents and Families resources

Play is one of the best things a parent can do with their child, whatever their age or ability. Includes the Parents Play Pack. More HERE

Out to Play

Practical guidance for creating outdoor play experiences for early learning and childcare. More HERE

Teacher Tom says ‘Joy is our real compensation’

Children must be allowed to learn the way they were designed to learn, which is through play, through their self-selected pursuits, through their passions and through their joy. More HERE

Baby Box 1st birthday

Scotland's Baby Box has now been gifted to 52,065 newborns in its first year. More HERE

Breaking gender stereotypes early

Gender stereotyping can be tackled in preschool, promoting equality in the skills children learn and the possibilities they see for themselves. More HERE

Adults play a large part in helping children to develop empathy at an early age

Researchers in Sweden found that adults engaging with children in social situations can help them to demonstrate empathy earlier than the age of four. More HERE

Expansion of early learning and childcare in Scotland: Quality Action Plan

The Plan will underpin the expansion of early learning and childcare to 1140 hours per year by 2020. More HERE

A kindness curriculum

A new mindfulness-based "kindness curriculum" created at the UW Center for Healthy Minds shows promising results in early research. More HERE

ASH Scotland and Play Scotland call for smoke-free play

Tobacco-free spaces create a healthier, safer environment and mean children are less likely to smoke when they grow up. More HERE

Reading as a playful act

“What you are trying to achieve is an understanding of that book that will stay with the child, even when the book is closed” Dr Vivienne Smith on the importance of engaging readers early. More HERE

Learning through Play

Play is important for the early stages of brain development and playing with your child can help build relationships for later life. Key information from Parentzone. More HERE

Getting ready to read

Being able to read well is vital for a child’s prospects at school and in life, yet one in five children growing up in poverty in Scotland leaves primary school unable to read well. This report provides guidance on supporting early language development. Download the pdf HERE

A Blueprint for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland 2017-18 Action Plan

Section One of the Plan sets out the conditions, support and investment that will drive quality experiences and ensure ELC addresses inequalities in child outcomes. Section Two sets out how to ensure the structures and capacity required are in place to deliver the 1140 hours of provision.  More HERE

Did Scotland have the world’s first kindergarten?

On 1st January 1816 Robert Owen opened his ‘Institute for the Formation of Character’ for the children of mill-workers at New Lanark. More HERE

The Best Start

This is the five-year forward plan for maternity and neonatal care in Scotland. More HERE

Stay and play

A new type of nursery provision for two year olds where parents stay and support their children’s learning has been chosen to be one of three Early Learning and Childcare expansion trials based on work already done in several locations across Scotland. More HERE

Encouraging children to form an emotional attachment to nature

A compassionate concern for our natural world comes from early contact with nature, empathy for our fellow creatures, and a sense of wonder and fascination. More HERE

Baby workout

Five to Thrive describes for parents some easy workouts for babies and toddlers to support talking, playing and relaxing. Download the pdf HERE

Reducing child poverty before and after birth

A new resource for midwives from Child Poverty Action Group identifies the practical steps they can take to maximise a family’s income and increase financial security. More HERE

Infographic explains poor eye health among children in UK

Raise your awareness about the rising poor vision problems among children in the UK. More

Playing for health's sake

A generation of children and young people report unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Health Play Specialist Julia Wilkinson joins the dots between health, well-being and early years education. More HERE

Play Strategy: Play Out of Hours!

A toolkit for the use of school grounds for playing out of teaching hours. More HERE

Children's development at the start of school in Scotland

These Research Findings shows the main results of analysis on the starting points and progress of children in Scotland in Primary 1 in early maths, early literacy and non-cognitive development and behaviour. In terms of cognitive development children from the least deprived areas had higher scores than children from the most deprived areas by around 14 months of development. More HERE

Building the Ambition

The guidance supports practitioners to focus on the important aspects of developmental stages and what children need at different times from their early years learning experiences, adult interaction and the early learning and childcare environment. Download pdf HERE

National Play Strategy

Scotland's first national play strategy recognises that as well as being fun, play is integral to a child's development. More HERE

Family stressors and children’s outcomes

The research identifies which family stress factors and parental behaviours are associated with worse outcomes for children at age 7 and which factors help children to succeed. Download PDF HERE

Maternal and Early Years web based resource

The site is for all early years workers in Scotland. There are regular Evidence Updates and a range of topics covered throughout the early years, from pregnancy to 8 years old. More HERE