Support from the Start Bursary Information

Bursary formA child’s early years experiences are crucial to a child’s development and one of our aim is to address inequalities that exist locally by giving children positive experiences so they develop a sense of belonging, become effective contributors and successful learners, along with their families contributing to their local community and feeling included.

Support from the Start  are committed to supporting young children’s participation in local classes, regardless of family economic factors. So Support from the Start  in partnership with Carefree Kids, has set up a bursary scheme for families of children age 0 to 8 years old.

Below is a background letter for

Fa’side Carefree Kids & Support from the Start Bursary Scheme

Musselburgh Carefree Kids & Support from the Start Bursary Scheme

Prestonpans Carefree Kids & Support from the Start Bursary Scheme

Haddington Carefree Kids & Support from the Start Bursary Scheme

Dunbar Carefree Kids & Support from the Start Bursary Scheme

North Berwick Carefree Kids & Support from the Start Bursary Scheme



also Support from the Start Carefree kids Children’s Bursary Referral form Fa’side, Musselburgh, Prestonpans, Haddington, Dunbar and North Berwick

Read on get on report from Save the Children

Read on get on report

A report has also been published which sets out the four main action points of the campaign which include prioritising the development of communication skills in the early years of a child’s life, and supporting families to help their children’s reading.

Read on, Get on

Read on get on                                                                                                                                          A national campaign, ‘Read on, Get on’, to get children reading well by 11 years old has been launched by a group of organisations and businesses.

Pre-school provision – Growing Up in Scotland report

 A new report from GUS explores the relationship between children’s experience of pre-school education and change in their social and cognitive development between the ages of 3 and 5. The project examines differences in the characteristics of pre-school provision experienced by different children and whether, in particular, the quality of the provision – as assessed through inspection by the Care Inspectorate or Education Scotland – influences children’s outcomes. The project uses data collected from mothers and children in the first birth cohort of the GUS study between 2008 and 2010. Survey data was linked to administrative data held by the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland.

Of the various pre-school characteristics considered, only the grading on the Care Inspectorate’s theme of ‘care and support’ was found to be associated with child outcomes, after controlling for differences in children’s backgrounds. Children who attended pre-school providers with a higher care and support grade were more likely to show higher vocabulary skills by age 5, irrespective of their skills at age 3 or their social background.
Full report here


Tots Tunes & Tales

“TOTS, TUNES AND TALES”    –    Training Opportunity

1.30pm – 3.30pm Friday 15th November 2013 in the Buffet Room Townhouse Haddington

“Tots, Tunes and Tales” was an innovative, parent led and developed project for parents and their children (0-3 years) created at Whitecraig Community Centre last summer. The project’s aim was to communicate the positive benefits of shared reading and music for children in their early years through storytelling, songs, rhymes, music games and activities.

The project was enthusiastically received by parents and children alike, and has led to the development of a “Tots, Tunes and Tales” resource pack in order to share the material and general approach developed in the pilot with other practitioners.

In this session, Maureen Black and David Trouton will introduce the pack and demonstrate the resource material, as well as linking the activities to current evidence-based research into the significance of music and stories in early years development.

Flyer 131115 (2)


Prestonpans Cluster Summer Transition Programme

Cockenzie and Prestonpans go to Ratho on PhotoPeach

This summer Cockenzie Primary School and Prestonpans Infant School have held a joint Summer Transition Programme. The last session was a family awayday at Ratho. What a great day we had, filling the 70 seater bus, missing the rain and having fun together. All the staff and parents and carers worked together to make the bacon rolls and cream scones and to make sure the children mixed together and played happily. In the kitchen, a Cockenzie mum said, “It’s been really great for the kids to get to know each other. After all they’ll all be in Preston Lodge together.” Working together’s been very energising for the staff too and we enjoyed our team work. Most of all, our wee ones have had an extra boost to help them feel ready for school through this long 7.5 week summer holiday.

Thanks to the Integration Team and CLD for working with us all. Thanks to Support from the Start for making it all possible.

PS Sorry about the squint photos!

Nature Play & Nurture CPD

Nature Play and Nurture CPD for Early Years

Aimed at Nursery and Early Years Staff, Nature Play and Nurture is a short course in using the outdoors as an environment for nurture, play and exploration. Three days (9am–3pm) of hands on training by two experienced forest school / kindergarten leaders and a ½ days observation of a Nature Play and Nurture programme.

This course is free to East Lothian practitioners.

Course venue:             to be confirmed

Course dates

Session 1         Friday, 20th September 2013, 9am–3pm,
Session 2         Friday, 4th October 2013 9am – 3pm

Session 3         Friday, 8th November 2013 9am – 3pm

plus one observation visit on one of the following : Tuesday am 3, 10, 17, 24 September, 1, 22, 29 October, 5 November

Course aims for participants to

  • explore and (re)connect with the benefits of Nature Play
  • understand the affordance (or action possibilities) of natural environments
  • feel confident to lead Nature Play sessions for your learners
  • feel inspired to incorporate more Nature Play into provision
  • find ways to overcome barriers to incorporating Nature Play sesions within your nursery provision
  • to look at incorporating Nature Play and Nurture opportunities within nursery grounds and linking to indoors

 To book this course please complete the linked form and return to: Pauline McLaren, Room 2.17, John Muir House, Haddington, East Lothian. EH41 3HA Or E-Mail to

Tea coffee and biscuits will be provided. Participants should bring a packed lunch. Participants will be provided with a course folder and notes, and are advised to bring pen, paper and camera.

How can high school work with the early years agenda?

East Lothian services recognise the importance of early years at a strategic level. However, finding practical ways to make this commitment more than a paper statement – particularly if your main focus isn’t early years – isn’t easy. High schools in East Lothian have come up with innovative practise that use their key main assets – the young people attending the schools.

Tots & Teens is one great example of this where play groups have been set up in High schools that offer quality play and childcare experience for toddlers at the same time as practical learning experiences for pupils. See following aarticle for more info

Another example of good practise is from Musselburgh Grammar. The ‘Working with Children’ elective course for S5, was developed by Jane Cummings community learning and development officer. The course had the following aims :-

  • A basic knowledge of child development
  • Increased skills and confidence in delivering or supporting play activities
  • Increased knowledge of food hygiene and promoting good food habits in children
  • Increased awareness of different professional roles involving work with children
  • More informed decision making about future career options involving work with children

The following are some of the comments made by young people who chose the working with children programme which was conducted at Burgh primary school

I found the story telling was really good when we went to the Burgh, I have learned to be more confident about reading in front of people

I learned what ages children can do things at

I have learned that children love getting told stories and they also like to join in.

I learned how to make gloop and playdough and how you would help children to do it

The story telling I didn’t enjoy, it was embarrassing but is good as it boosts confidence and is a good way to interact with everyone.

I learned that children develop a lot quicker than I thought and that they would develop so much when they are in the first few years… what age certain important stepping stones are.

The experience was very positive for the Burgh Primary school  giving an opportunity for the primary children to work with positive young role models

An evaluation report has been written and can be accessed here

2012 Report grammar elective

MGS Elective Course Outline