New design guide for early years settings

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A new guide to help childcare providers enhance the design of their setting has been launched by the Scottish Government.

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Scotland's minister for childcare and early years Mark McDonald with staff and children from Kilcoy Kindergarten, near Inverness, where he launched the guide

The guide, ‘Space to Grow’, is designed to help private and voluntary providers, along with local authorities, develop settings in preparation for the 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare, being introduced in Scotland by 2020.

Based on national and international evidence, the guide features examples of cost-effective design to benefit young children’s learning across the world from as far afield as Japan and New Zealand to Dumferline, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Scotland’s minister for childcare and early years Mark McDonald said, ‘It is an incredibly exciting time for early learning and childcare in Scotland as we prepare to near double funded early learning and childcare provision to 1140 hours by 2020.  

‘This guide will be an extremely useful tool for all early learning and childcare providers to help in planning for this expansion. It features some fantastic examples of good design in early years settings from Scotland and further afield, and definitely shows that applying good design practice can have a really positive impact on children’s learning.

‘During my visit to Kilcoy Kindergarten [pictured, and featured as a case study in the guide] I was able to see how they have combined an existing resource with a range of different outdoor spaces to create a truly innovative environment which really capture the imagination of the children and help them to become more independent.’

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said, 'Early learning and childcare, and out-of-school care, play a hugely important role in the lives of thousands of children across Scotland. Expanding early learning and childcare plays a vital role in delivering the national outcomes and in helping to make Scotland the best place to grow up.

'I am delighted the Care Inspectorate had the opportunity to work in a collaborative way with a range of stakeholders to produce this important resource which will support all early learning and childcare providers, and the out-of-school care sector, to develop new and innovative environments for children to grow and develop in.

'This will be a key document in our scrutiny and improvement work, and I would like to sincerely thank all those who have given of their time to produce it.'                            

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