Early Years Scotland: Investing in Our Youngest Children

Early Years Scotland is Scotland’s leading national specialist organisation that supports our youngest children from pre-birth to 5 years of age.

Our fully qualified Early Years Practitioners work directly with children and their families to deliver our unique Stay Play and Learn sessions in a variety of settings. We work in areas where children and families who have the greatest need, will benefit most from our services.

As a Third Sector organisation, we have been established for over 50 years. We are very proud of our long track record, supporting all of those who work for, and on behalf of, Scotland’s youngest children.

A Guide to Early Years Scotland Services has been produced to inform parents, providers and partners about Early Years Scotland and its range of services.

There are four strands to our work


1. Working directly with young children and their families

Our range of Stay Play and Learn services offer a two generational, play-based approach. Our qualified early years practitioners encourage and engage with young children and  their  parents/carers  to reduce the poverty  related attainment gap by strengthening and improving confidence, attachments, interactions, the home learning environment, transitions, shared learning and attainment. We work in a range of prisons across Scotland to support children affected by parental imprisonment. Our professional staff offer these much needed services across a variety of local community settings including community and church halls, nurseries, schools and prisons.


2. Membership and support for ELC settings, professionals and students

We offer a number of support services and membership benefits to assist a range of professionals who work for, and on behalf of, Scotland’s youngest children. We also support parents to establish, run and improve parent and toddler groups in local communities. Early Years Scotland membership benefits include a helpline, curriculum, inspection and business support, professional learning opportunities, regular magazines and bulletins, a members’ area on our website, specialist insurance and legal advice, policy templates and much more. We also offer membership to students, practitioners, childminders, colleges and universities.


3. Professional Learning

In order to respond to requests from the workforce for high quality early learning and childcare professional learning, Early Years Scotland delivers a range of learning opportunities for providers of early learning and childcare, colleges, universities, local authorities and many more partners. As the size of the workforce has increased, Early Years Scotland has established an expert dedicated professional learning team who design, develop and deliver affordable, accessible, relevant high quality professional learning opportunities across the country. Thanks to funding from the William Grant Foundation, we have an online learning platform which offers the early learning and childcare sector new opportunities for professional learning and the development of Early Learning and Childcare National Collaborative Learning Communities.


4. Policy, practice and legislation: Advice and advocacy

We are committed to ensuring that we remain connected and fully engaged with developments, initiatives and debates on matters relating to young children across the country. As Early Years Scotland is a membership and service-delivery organisation, we have a responsibility to ensure that our children’s and members’ voices are represented at local and national level. A significant strand of our work  therefore lies in informing, influencing, supporting and challenging early years legislation, policy and practice, to ensure Scotland’s children have the best start in life.