Early Learning and Childcare Innovation Awards: winners

List of early learning and childcare (ELC) settings awarded funding to develop innovative ideas to improve children's learning.

The Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Innovation Awards scheme highlights innovative initiatives which improve children’s learning, and then develop them further through extra funding and support.

Winning projects from round one and round two are listed below. Each setting recieved £5,000 to further develop their innovative ideas.

Round 1 winners

More detailed information on each project is also attached.

Bowhouse Early Learning and Childcare, Falkirk 

Bowhouse ELC has been working to develop a methodology, using national guidance for early learning and childcare Building the Ambition, to ensure that children's learning and development is at the core of all they do. This has involved the development of a charter, defining their promise to children and families.

Clober Nursery, East Dunbartonshire

Clober Nursery has expanded its use of outdoor play and learning. Children have been given the opportunity to develop a range of skills through activities such as growing their own food, using tools to build a fence and building a bug hotel.

Innerwick Early Years Setting, East Lothian

Staff at Innerwick Early Years Setting are using a methodology called Map-Do-Review to give children a greater voice through play in the decision-making process.

This enables children to make a plan of their next stage of learning and go back and review it when they are ready to do so with adult help.

Menstrie Nursery, Clackmannanshire

At Menstrie Nursery, children set up their own café with help from a local café owner. The children worked as a team to create menus and prepare and serve food.

The project has helped create stronger links between the nursery and local community, and helped develop children's numeracy, literacy, and health and wellbeing.

Treetop Family Nurture Centre (FNC), Fife

Treetop FNC staff noticed some children were starting school with a deficit in their language and communications skills. In partnership with an NHS speech and language therapist, they developed a strategy to improve children’s literacy skills.

Staff worked with NHS speech and language therapists and as a result saw an improvement in children's communication skills.

Village Nursery, Scottish Borders

Village Nursey developed a mentoring programme for staff to develop their confidence, skills and knowledge.

Experienced staff supported new staff through the development of a series of factsheets covering key areas in early years.

Round 2 winners

Parkhead Community Nursery

Parkhead Community Nursery has been a delivering a community growing and nutrition programme - Grow Cook, Eat and Chat with families and parents who lead the sessions. This supports families to learn to cook healthy meals together and parents can train as ‘cooking and eating ambassadors’ through the programme which is an accredited qualification.

Hilltop Nursery School

Hilltop have been striving to improve the well-being of the children and their families attending the setting and raising attainment as set out in “Glasgow’s Attainment Challenge”. Hilltop have created a shared space, facilitating intergenerational learning as a platform for early intervention and prevention, enabling positive attitudes towards life-long learning, promoting socio-economic resilience and challenging disadvantages.

Beancross Primary School Nursery

Beancross Primary School Nursery has been delivering an outdoor learning programme called 'Nurturing Nature’ which is a family learning initiative for children and families within the nursery and which key parents leading sessions for other families. Beancross have created a ‘back to nature’ universal strategy, which has embedded a universal approach to nurturing nature within the nursery environment.

Cathkin Community Nursery

Cathkin Community Nursery has been working to support LGBT+ families within the setting. Staff have been able to analyse their own attitudes, relationship with gender and challenge any unconscious bias and how these may affect their practice.

Hillview Nursery

Hillview Nursery has been supporting families and children to understand how maths connects to everyday life. They have been promoting a ‘Growth Mindset ’ approach and working with children to improve confidence and to understand that their abilities are not fixed, and they can improve their skills through effort and dedication.

Mayfield Nursery School

Mayfield Nursery School has been supporting development of emotional regulation through a shared language strategy for dealing with challenging behaviour. They have been using video recordings to support relational trust and professional discussion that enables practitioners to take responsibility for developing their own practice.

Sheephouse Nursery

Sheephouse Nursery have created an alternative learning space called the Barn in an outdoor playroom. This has given opportunities for risky play activities such as cooking on an open fire and woodworking with knives, saws and axes providing opportunities to support development in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and children’s confidence.

Stobhill ELC

Stobhill ELC have developed an inter-age STEM programme to equip children with key STEM skills by participating in at least 1 targeted STEM experience a week. They have engaged with parents in their children’s STEM learning through take home packs and play sessions.

More information

Find out more about the ELC Innovation Award scheme.



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