Date lodged: 14 January 2019
To ask the Scottish Government how it supports outdoor learning in early years.
Answered by: Maree Todd 28 January 2019
The expansion of funded hours for early learning and childcare (ELC) provides a unique opportunity to enrich the experience we offer children in their early years. The Scottish Government recognises the benefits of outdoor learning, exercise and play for young children in terms of their health, wellbeing and their physical and cognitive development. To this end, we have funded Inspiring Scotland £862,000 to support eight local authorities to develop and increase access to the outdoors as a focus for the expansion.
In December 2018 we published Out to Play providing practical guidance to ELC providers on how to access local outdoor space and how to set up an outdoor nursery experience.
Our National Standard for ELC providers, published in December 2018, requires that any provider delivering the funded ELC entitlement must provide daily access to outdoor play for children in their care and ensure that children regularly experience outdoor play in a natural environment as part of their funded ELC offer.