The early years of a child's life are ones of rapid growth and development. Children enter their pre school years with a significant background of learning experiences within their families and with friends, neighbours and relatives.
During their pre school years, provision for children is provided in a range of settings including the local authority, private and voluntary sectors. Staff work in close partnership with parents in developing children's learning. The vital contribution of pre school education lies in developing and broadening the range of children's learning experiences leaving them confident, eager and enthusiastic learners.
The National Guidance 'Pre-Birth to Three: Positive Outcomes for Scotland's Children and Families', replaces 'Birth to Three: Supporting our youngest children'.
The guidance includes important information on Pre-Birth and brain development and it reflects the principles and philosophy which underpins the Early Years Framework and Curriculum for Excellence
Curriculum for Excellence
The path most children and young people are expected to follow through the levels of the curriculum reflects their own stages of maturation, and the changing ways in which they engage with learning as they develop.
Some children and young people will start learning at these levels earlier and others later, depending on their individual needs and aptitudes.
Early education in particular adopts a holistic approach to young children's learning which responds to each child's changing developmental needs and values a child's prior knowledge from home.
Centres have the scope to reflect the individuality of their local communities and to respond by providing unique, high quality learning experiences for all their children.
From the outset, young children are partners in the learning process, actively participating in the planning, shaping and directing of their own learning. With sensitive adult support they will learn how to make informed choices and take responsibility for their own learning.
The purposes of the curriculum at this early stage are to support children in all aspects of their emotional, social, cognitive and physical development and the curricular opportunities offered should enable them to become increasingly independent, responsible and eager to progress their learning.
Staff in early years settings achieve this through their skilled interactions with each child and by providing stimulating contexts for active learning, building on the child's prior knowledge and skills and recognising their developments and achievements.