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

A Quality Action Plan to underpin the expansion of early learning and childcare (ELC) in Scotland to 1140 hours per year by 2020.


Action 1: We will strengthen the focus on child development within the assessment for all SVQ units for the Social Services (Children and Young People) group award.

Action 2: We will review the content of other initial qualifications in early learning and childcare, and the focus of continuous professional learning, informed by the most up to date research on child development.

Action 3: We will prepare a national induction resource for all staff who are new to delivering early learning and childcare to ensure that they are well supported in developing the skills and understanding they need in their role.

Action 4: We will create and deliver an online national programme of continuous professional learning that will be available to all early learning and childcare providers and will be centrally co-ordinated and funded.

Action 5: We will create a directory of continuous professional learning opportunities to help the early learning and childcare sector identify developmental support available to them once qualified.

Action 6: We will develop guidance that will support local authorities and early learning and childcare providers in the private and third sectors to implement the living wage commitment.

Action 7: From April 2018, the Care Inspectorate will include a specific focus in their inspections of early learning and childcare to assess the extent to which graduate-level practitioners are leading pedagogical practice and improving outcomes for children.

Action 8: We will introduce a learning and development course for school leadership teams on what drives quality in early learning and childcare and how provision for children under three sets the foundations for learning for Curriculum for Excellence.

Action 9: We will refresh and re-launch National Guidance on Pre-birth to Three and Building the Ambition to bring this up-to-date with new evidence that will support practice in early learning and childcare.

Action 10: We will promote greater use of outdoor learning and physical activity by producing a ‘how to’ guide on finding access to suitable outdoor areas and making the most of the opportunities that these offer to promote children’s development.

Action 11: We will develop an online resource for parents to empower them to make choices about the right ELC setting or combination of settings for their child.

Action 12: We will increase support for evidence-based family learning programmes to embed this in the early learning offer for families facing disadvantage.

Action 13: We will identify early learning and childcare settings that have demonstrated innovation and impact in aspects of their practice and share this nationally and, where appropriate, support them to evidence and enhance their understanding of impact on children.

Action 14: We will strengthen the early learning and childcare content on the National Improvement Hub and introduce a dedicated landing page that directs the profession to relevant material on improving the quality of children’s experiences and outcomes.

Action 15: We will fund a facilitator to help the early learning and childcare profession share learning and experience in improving children’s learning and development, either on Glow or another online platform.


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