Early Years Scotland’s hugely successful Stay and Play service
has been chosen as the model for one of three exciting Early Learning and Childcare expansion trials announced by the Scottish Government yesterday.
The trial service, ‘Stay, Play and Learn’, will be delivered by Early Years Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.
Stay, Play and Learn is a new, radical type of nursery provision where parents stay and support their children’s learning, and the trial will focus on eligible two year olds. Instead of dropping their children off at the nursery, the parents will stay therefore allowing the children to be with their parents while still enjoying the benefits of nursery at the same time. It will also mean that parents who do not want to be separated from their two year old children will be encouraged to stay and support their children’s learning alongside qualified Early Years Scotland staff.
Parents who have used the existing Early Years Scotland Stay and Play services
in Aberdeen, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway say that the sessions’ emphasis on parental engagement and shared play and learning experiences have helped them feel much more confident and closer to their children.
Both Early Years Scotland and Aberdeen City Council see the new service as one that will play a part in the Scottish Government’s measures to narrow the attainment gap, which evidence shows is already deep-rooted by the time many children from the poorest backgrounds reach school starting age.
The trial will commence in January 2017 and, if successful, it is envisaged that it will be rolled out across Scotland.
Welcoming the announcement of the trial, Early Years Scotland Chief Executive Jean Carwood-Edwards said: “The Early Years Scotland Stay, Play and Learn alternative approach to nursery provision is potentially a very powerful model, and one which we believe will truly trigger transformational change for children and families at the earliest possible stage in their lives. We look forward to working in close partnership with Aberdeen City Council to test out and tackle the unacceptable inequalities which often lead to the ‘poverty-for-life’ gap experienced by so many of Scotland’s children. The Board of Directors and staff of Early Years Scotland welcome the opportunity to deliver this new service for eligible 2 year olds in Aberdeen City Council from January 2017.
Angela Taylor, Convenor of Education and Children’s Services in Aberdeen said, ‘We are delighted that the government has agreed to support our Me 2-Stay, Play and Learn Service. This unique programme fits with the city ambition to enhance parental attachment with their children and also expand our early learning and childcare for city families.”
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