Nature Kindergartens at heart of Scottish 30 free hours pilots

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The devolved governments of Scotland and Wales are embarking upon a similar scheme of pilots to improve Early Years and Childcare funding by providing access to 30 hours of funded provision.

The Scottish Government last week announced details of the pilot and Scotland’s early years minister Mark McDonald said:

“The Scottish Government is not simply determined to increase the amount of early learning and childcare. We are also determined to deliver the flexibility that families need to make best use of high quality childcare.

“By trialing different delivery models we will be better able to understand what parents and children need and want. The three successful local authorities announced today put forward a diverse range of proposals and I look forward to seeing how these work in practice.”

We are delighted to  learn that the Scottish Government is putting nature kindergartens at the heart of its pilot as improved access to outdoor learning will be trialled in Edinburgh, where two nurseries in areas of high deprivation will launch nature kindergartens. Children taking part in the pilot will be able to spread their hours across the indoor and outdoor settings.

Scotland currently has over 20 registered outdoor based nursery settings and as part of the biggest investment in their early years sector for decades, has recognised the additional benefits that nature kindergartens can provide as a contributor to a flexible and high-quality childcare industry.

We hope the Welsh  Government will follow Scotland’s lead and look at Nature Kindergartens as a vehicle for positive change in the early years sector and a setting that can help improve the lives of children and compliment existing indoor settings and pedagogies.

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