Early learning and childcare – national induction resource - latest version: January 2023

The early learning and childcare (ELC) national induction resource has been developed to support individuals in their induction to delivering ELC – whether that is funded ELC or ELC that families purchase themselves - setting out how individuals can expect employers to support them in their new role.

Continuous Professional Learning

In addition to staff qualifications, CPL is an essential component of ELC quality. Evidence suggests that good quality CPL helps ensure staff are aware of effective practice and are continually supported in the workplace. This reduces staff turnover and there is some evidence that this can have more impact on quality than a professional's initial training and education.

The SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Workers requires workers to take responsibility for maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills. During every 5 year registration period the SSSC requires practitioners to complete 60 hours or 10 days of CPL. The amount of training and learning is in days and hours to show that the time does not have to be made up of full days of activity. For the purpose of CPL, one day equals six hours.

ELC settings have a statutory requirement to ensure that staff engage in appropriate induction and training to undertake their role; this is something that the Care Inspectorate monitor in inspections. Your employers will therefore be able to advise you on relevant CPL for your role and of courses that should be available to you.

We have developed and launched a suite of free online CPL modules with support from leading partners. The courses were specifically developed to address professional learning needs identified in the Quality Action Plan and aim to support learning through the use of forums, interactive video clips, podcasts, online quizzes and webinars. They are accessible as virtual and distance models, providing flexible and affordable learning for all professionals.

The Scottish Government, in partnership with the Care Inspectorate, has also developed a Directory of CPL for ELC opportunities to help you to identify and plan your professional learning throughout your career; before, after and while pursuing formal qualifications. The directory is designed to simplify the process for you to identify the full range of flexible, and part-time, learning and development opportunities available, and allow you to search for opportunities by theme.

The SSSC has a free smartphone-based app called Mylearning. Through this system you will be able to record learning in a way which suits you. Whilst it is important that you tell the SSSC about any learning and development you have undertaken, it is equally important that you tell them what you have learned and how this has impacted on your work.

You can also access resources, information and support for your practice through Education Scotland's National Improvement Hub and the Care Inspectorate's Hub.

Outdoor Learning

In addition, as outdoor play and learning is an integral, every day, part of ELC in Scotland and a fundamental part of growing up in Scotland. Scotland's Outdoor Learning Directory coordinates a number of partners – including Scottish Forestry, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Historic Environment Scotland and national parks - to provide a single portal to services supporting outdoor learning. This includes access to a wide range of training opportunities and events. Another particularly useful resource to support more use of the outdoors is Out To Play; a How to Guide on utilise local outdoor space to enhance children's learning.Three additional Out to Play chapters for: childminding settings; out of school care providers; and practitioners supporting children with additional support needs were published in March 2021.

Additional Support Needs

All children and young people need support to help them learn and the nature of the support needed will be different for every individual child. ELC practitioners are in a unique and important position to influence children's development, and have the capacity to create environments that encourage equality and inclusion from the early stages. 'Building confidence in identifying and responding to additional support needs' is a free online CPL module that provides focused learning on how to support children with additional support needs and their families.

Further resources that you may find useful when working with children and families with additional support needs include:

Enquire – A factsheet about Additional Support for Learning in Early Years

Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities

Wakelet – A toolkit for Autism

Sharing Practice and Networking

To stay up-to-date with progress with policy developments in ELC and network with likeminded professionals, you may also want to register with the Knowledge Hub (KHub). Facilitated by Scottish Government, this provides an online space to discuss issues and share knowledge relating to ELC in Scotland. To join the group, please sign up to Knowledge Hub and then visit the group's homepage, select "Request to join" and complete the relevant information.


Email: Haylay.Forbes@gov.scot

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