Early learning and childcare (ELC)

Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) was a term introduced in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and is used to cover the full range of pre-school provision and early education available in Scotland. It also refers to the different types of settings that offer education and care to children up to school age.

Young children are continuously learning and developing through their daily interactions and experiences. The phrase early learning and childcare reinforces the concept that education and care of very young children are not independent of each other.

Realising the ambition: Being Me

As an ELC setting, the University Nursery closely follows the national practice guidance for early years in Scotland, from birth through early childhood and into primary education.

The guidance highlights the critical importance of high-quality provision of early learning and childcare to help children fulfil their potential.

The resource focuses on how ELC settings can ensure they are providing a happy, interesting and empowering learning environment, that offers high quality experiences and sensitive interactions in a variety of outdoor and indoor spaces, which will develop in babies, toddlers and young children, the emotional resilience they need to form a secure wellbeing base.

A key thread running through early learning and childcare practice is the recognition that every child is different, and develop individual skills, knowledge and attributes at different rates.

Curriculum for Excellence (CFE)

Through the Curriculum for Excellence (CFE) all children and young people in Scotland are entitled to experience a coherent curriculum from 3 to 18. The CFE builds on the solid foundations developed in ELC settings and is split into a broad general education from age three until the end of S3, and a senior phase after S3.

The broad general education has five levels (early, first, second, third and fourth), with the early level for most children spanning the period from age three until the end of Primary 1. This ensures there is consistency between practice in early learning and childcare and early primary school, supporting a smooth transition between the stages in a child’s learning journey.

There are eight curriculum areas:

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Languages (including English, Gàidhlig, Gaelic learners, modern languages and classical languages)
  • Mathematics
  • Religious and moral education (including Religious and moral education and Religious education in Roman Catholic schools)
  • Sciences
  • Social studies
  • Technologies

Personal learning journal

Parents can keep up to date with their child’s unique learning and development journey through a dedicated learning journal.

The journal is completed daily by your child’s key worker and records activities and tasks undertaken by your child, along with information on what your child has eaten throughout the day.