Learning in the early years

​Pre-birth to three years

'Pre-Birth to Three: Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families' is the national guidance that supports all staff working with young children. It recognises and values the importance of parents, as they understand their child better than anyone else.

The guidance highlights four key principles to ensure children have the best start. The key principles are: Rights of the Child, Relationships, Responsive Care and Respect.

This parent leaflet introduces the guidance and provides advice on how you can help support your child's development.

PDF file: Pre-Birth to Three - Information for parents and carers (330 KB)

Age three and upwards

The 3-18 curriculum (Curriculum for Excellence) builds on the solid foundations developed in the critical years of pre-birth to three.

For most children, the Early level of the curriculum provides the basis for their learning experiences in early years and Primary 1. For some children and young people with additional support needs, the Early level will provide a framework for learning and progression beyond the early primary stage and, perhaps, for most of their time in school.

The Early level is one of five curriculum levels and is part of the broad general education.

Learning at the Early level has a strong emphasis on learning through play. This approach continues to be a focus (as 'active learning') throughout all stages of the curriculum.

By working in partnership with staff, you can play a key role in supporting your child's learning.

To see the impact and benefits of the Early level of Curriculum for Excellence in practice, watch this video of learning through play at Lochgelly Sunflower Nursery.

Related link

Learning through play

Encouraging play is one of the best things you can do for your child, whatever their age.