Last Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A summary of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) resources

What is this?

​​​​​This page provides a summary of key information, policy, resources, and exemplification relating to early learning and childcare (ELC)​.​

Who is this for?

​This page aims to support all ELC practitioners, leaders and policy makers with an interest in, or responsibility for, early learning and childcare.

​How to use this page to improve practice?

When using this page, please consider the following reflective questions:

  • What is my understanding of the current ELC policy and guidance landscape?
  • How do I use self-evaluation, research and evidence to inform and improve my practice?

Self-evaluation approach​​

  • How good is our early learning and childcare? (2016) provides a suite of quality indicators. These support staff to look inwards; to scrutinise their work and evaluate what is working well for babies, toddlers and young children, and what could be better. T​he framework is designed to be used to support self-evaluation for self-improvement by practitioners at all levels.​

​​​Key Documents

  • The Early Years Framework (2008) sets out a vision for early years services in Scotland to ensure that children get ‘the best start in life’.
  • Building the Ambition (2014), is national practice guidance for all those delivering early learning and childcare to babies, toddlers and young children.
  • Pre-Birth to Three: Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families is national guidance to support practitioners and students working with babies and toddlers aged 0-3 and their families.
  • Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) builds on the solid foundations developed in the critical years ​pre-birth to three. Within CfE, children are entitled to a broad general education from age three until the end of S3. The early level of CfE for most children spans the period of time from age three until the end of Primary 1. It supports a smooth transition in learning between ELC and primary school.

Practical support and resources on the National Improvement Hub​

​Resources on the National Improvement Hub (NIH) are tagged by subject. This includes an ELC subject tag. Searching live on the NIH ensures you are checking the most up-to-date list of ELC resources. The following resources on the NIH may be of interest to ELC practitioners and leaders.

Curricular​ approaches

Creativity infographics
Development of creativity through play at Ballogie Nursery
Permission to be creative - Brian Boyd
Science across the school - early level at Strathallan Primary
STEM practice at Sunflower Famil​y Nurture Centre​

Inclusion and equality​

Improving gender balance 3-18

Gaelic Medium Education

Advice on Gaelic Education
Advice on Total Immersion and ELC
A’ cur taic ris an Ìre Thràth ann am Foghlam Tro Mheadhan na Gàidhlig / Supporting the Early Years in Gaelic Medium Education
Briefings on Gaelic Education/Fiosrachadh mun Ghàidhlig
Gaelic Medium Education 3-18 - A case study from Sir E Scott School
Dè cho math 's a tha ar tràth-ionnsachadh agus curam chloinne​? / ​How good is our early learning and childcare?

Health and wellbeing

Developing nurturing relationships in Early Years in Dundee

Language and literacy development

Language Is Fun Together (LIFT)​
Talking and listening across the four learning contexts
Talking, listening and questions​

Leadership

How Woodside Nursery School has developed partnerships to support children’s learning
Making the difference: the impact of staff qualifications
Pedagogical Leadership in Early Learning and Childcare

Learning environments

Block Play – Block Building in the Early Years
Development of creativity through play at Ballogie Nursery
Effective environments to promote learning for children aged zero to five
Inspiring environments for high-quality learning

​Observation, planning and assessment

Argyll and Bute Approach – Knowing Each Child as a Learner
Children's learning journeys at Monkton Primary School Nursery Class
Effective observation leading to effective assessment
Planning learning at Auchlone Nature Kindergarten

Outdoor learning

Get the Bairns Oot! An outdoor kindergarten in Norway
Managing Risk in Outdoor Learning
Planning learning at Auchlone Nature Kindergarten
Playtime Revolution – a resource from Grounds for Learning
Forest Kindergarten Approach – Learning Outdoors With Confidence

Parental engagement and family learning

Engaging with families
Evidenci​ng change in fathers participating family learning groups

How staff involve parents in their children’s learning - Ladybird Nursery School
Learning at home with science boxes - West Kilbride Primary School
Planning for learning and parental engagement in RME at the early level
Using ‘App’ technology to improve parental engagement in Dundee

Pedagogy

Block Play – Block Building in the Early Years
Children's learning journeys at Monkton Primary School Nursery Class
Creativity - Dylan Wiliam
Development of creativity through play at Ballogie Nursery
Pedagogical Leadership in Early Learning and Childcare
Playtime Revolution – a resource from Grounds for Learning
Schematic play - Taking a closer look
Talking, listening and question
The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Years Education

Play

Development of creativity through play at Ballogie Nursery
Pedagogical Leadership in Early Learning and Childcare
Playtime Revolution – a resource from Grounds for Learning
Schematic play - Taking a closer look​​

Practice exemplars

Building the Ambition at Cowgate Under 5s Centre
Children's learning journeys at Monkton Primary School Nursery Class
Cowcaddens Nursery - eTwinning Project Report
Developing nurturing relationships in Early Years in Dundee
Effective environments to promote learning for children aged zero to five
Evidencing change in fathers participating family learning groups
How staff involve parents in their children’s learning - Ladybird Nursery School
How Woodside Nursery School has developed partnerships to support children’s learning
Learning at home with science boxes - West Kilbride Primary School
Science across the school - early level at Strathallan Primary

Scottish attainment challenge

Early Learning and Childcare and the Scottish Attainment Challenge​​

Transitions

Scottish Early Childhood and Families National Transitions Statement
Cadder Primary School early years transition project
The Lighthouse Keeper joint transition project
Using play based learning to support transition from ELC to Primary 1​