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Outdoor Nurseries - Inspiring Scotland

Outdoor Nurseries

Improving children's health, well-being and development through outdoor play-based learning.

The best possible start in life

Inspiring Scotland wants every child in Scotland to have the best possible start in life. We want them to be healthy, happy and resilient; to form friendships, to learn vital skills and to have fun. Research clearly and consistently identifies outdoor play as vital to emotional, physical and mental health and well-being and critical to all aspects of childhood learning and development. That’s why we are working to establish outdoor play as the critical catalyst for healthy childhood development and positioned as a fundamental part of growing up in Scotland.

Supporting greater use of outdoor learning in the early years

We are supporting Scottish Government to establish high-quality outdoor play as the essential catalyst for healthy childhood development and a fundamental part of growing up in Scotland.  Our role will include supporting local authorities and social enterprises to develop and scale up outdoor nursery provision alongside supporting good practice to embed outdoor play-based childcare, helping to make playing outside in nature part of the way children in Scotland learn and develop from an early age.

Our role will include:

Working with eight local authorities to deliver outdoor learning opportunities

Producing a ‘how to’ guide for practitioners, with practical advice on how to access outdoor spaces

Driving partnership working between councils, third sector and private companies in promoting outdoor learning

Helping organisations review the impact of outdoor learning when delivering the expansion to 1,140 hours of funded childcare


Inspiring Scotland’s new role in supporting greater use of outdoor learning in the early years

Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd, has announced the number of hours nursery children spend outdoors is set to increase, and Inspiring Scotland will play a key role in  encouraging and supporting greater use of outdoor learning in the early years.

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Outdoor Nurseries in Glasgow

Inspiring Scotland is working with Glasgow City Council’s Early Years team to build a strategic partnership and develop a collaborative Outdoor Nursery approach for disadvantaged communities across the city. Through the programme, children from selected local nurseries will have one day per week where their nursery class is held outside – regardless of weather – in the Castlemilk woodland. As well as the benefits of playing and learning outside in the natural environment on children’s emotional and cognitive development. The outdoor nurseries also contribute to creating more childcare spaces ahead of the Scottish Government’s expansion to 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare by 2020

The three communities where outdoor nurseries are in operation:

Castlemilk Partnership – the Welly Wanderers

Drumchapel Partnership – the Muddy Buddies

East End of Glasgow – currently being established

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We work with experts from the voluntary, public, private and academic sectors. Get in touch if you want to help us build a better Scotland.

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