There is new scientific understanding of the intelligence of infants and young children for learning cultural meanings through social interaction, and brain science confirms that the early years establish a foundation for this knowledge, and for maturation of healthy and productive members of society. Early years education has built on the tradition of collaborating with children's gifts of creativity and companionship to form communities of learners. Scottish nursery schools have had a proud place in this tradition. Research proves that children are born motivated to live in affectionate and playful attachment with parents, other adults and other children. Sensitivity to these motives promotes social, cognitive, linguistic, and sensorimotor growth, establishing confidence and imagination in the knowing and doing of happy and proud children. Promoting children's development matters not just for them, but for all of society.

Concern that the knowledge and practice of high quality provision for early childhood education are being eroded with social, economic and political change has prompted organisation of a conference of experts in early childhood. When parents seek out of home care, infants are placed in the care of staff who need to know how central they are in children's development, particularly in nurturing well-being and an excitement for discovery through stable, cooperative and lively relationships. There are well articulated and carefully considered policy documents defining essential support of young bodies and minds. The statutory duty to fund pre-school service provision has been devolved by government to Community Planning Partnerships that struggle to prioritise meeting the needs of early development and learning and consequently longer-term needs. Anti-social behaviour in young adults links strongly to poor quality care in early years, and to violence in families stressed by poverty and financial insecurity. Economists show that the return in social benefits from investment in family support and for education in early childhood is much higher than from investment in school years and higher education.

The aims of the Child's Curriculum committee's work are:

  • To uphold the tradition of excellent nursery provision in Scotland;
  • To advance principles of child development for excellent education and care;
  • To support considering children's nature and children's rights as inseparable.


Core Committee Members:

  • Aline-Wendy Dunlop
  • Barbara Robertson
  • Brett Housego
  • Chris Miles
  • Colwyn Trevarthen
  • Gill McKinnon
  • Jillian Adie
  • Jonathan Delafield-Butt
  • Judy Goodier
  • Julie Wild
  • Karen Ludke
  • Kate Frame
  • Kenny Spence
  • Kitty Renton
  • Moira Small
  • Sean Bradley

Associate Committee Members:

  • Audrey Cameron
  • Emma Tracey
  • Kirsty Douglas
  • Ingela Naumann
  • John Davis
  • John Ravenscroft
  • Suzanne Zeedyk
  • Lynn McNair