Pre-birth to three

Photograph of a very young boy laughing and holding a ball

The 3-18 curriculum builds on the solid foundations laid in children's earliest years.

Why are these years so important?

The early years of a child's life lay the foundations of skills for learning, life and work and have a major bearing on wider outcomes, including employment.

Adults working with Scotland's youngest children should recognise the impact and importance their work has, now and indeed for the rest of children's lives. 

In order for staff to be confident that they are providing the best experiences for babies and children, they need to know why it is essential that they get it right for every child in these most critical years.

New national guidance

The national guidance Pre-birth to Three: Positive outcomes for Scotland’s children and families was launched in December 2010.

The revised guidance reflects the principles and philosophy which underpin the Early Years Framework and Curriculum for Excellence, and includes important information on pre-birth and brain development.

The new guidance and multimedia resource highlights practical case studies and makes reference to current research to support improved evidence-based practice.  This guidance sets out to support staff working with and for our youngest children and their families. It aims to: 

  • facilitate effective partnership working for the benefit of every child
  • promote confidence
  • enable practitioners to build in time to 'think' as well as 'do'
  • inform the ways in which staff support children and families
  • improve and enhance evidence-informed practice.

The guidance is relevant for all adults working with and for babies and young children. It is also valuable to local authority officers, students and those working in colleges, universities and other agencies relevant to the care and wellbeing of children.

The materials support and develop an understanding of the four key principles - the Rights of the Child, Relationships, Responsive Care and Respect - and how they impact on children’s learning and development.

Go to the Early Years website