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There’s loads of research that says children who attend high quality early learning and childcare (ELC) develop faster. The calming and positive influence that ELC offers in fun, friendly and safe environments can help little minds and bodies grow.

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The big benefits for little people

That first time your wee one’s in a nursery or with a childminder can be a challenge for both of you. But it can also be the best decision for everyone. A new environment with new faces and new experiences can be just what your child needs to help them learn and become more confident. They’ll come back each day full of excitement and desperate to tell you what they made, learned and ate!

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ELC child benefits in a nutshell

  • Improving language and social skills.
  • Encouraging your child to learn through play with other children.
  • Enhancing their learning journey with benefits that they take forward into school.
  • There's a wide range of experiences to excite and delight them.
  • Playing with other children encourages your child to be physically active.
  • Your child can take the lead in their own learning and go at their own pace.
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The big benefits for big people

The time your child spends there having fun and learning can be massively useful to mums, dads and carers. Just having some time out and the chance to catch your breath can be reason enough. A few hours can give you the chance to do some work, shopping, or just get essential stuff done.

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ELC wins for you

  • ELC gives parents and carers the time to train, study or work.
  • It provides more time during the day to get other things done.
  • It offers you extra time to look for work or increase your working hours.
  • It can give you ideas for fun learning experiences to try out at home.
  • It helps to support your child's learning and development at home.
  • It's perfect for meeting other parents, sharing tips and widening your support base.
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Playing and learning outside

Young children learn through play. And early years practitioners are great at creating opportunities for them to learn while they're playing, both outdoors and indoors. Playing, learning and having fun outdoors also help improve kids' wellbeing and resilience. It’s great for their physical and mental health, and also provides them with a chance to develop a lifelong love of the natural world. There’s more and more evidence about the positive impact that learning outdoors can have on how well kids do later on in school.

With suitable clothing, children can be outside in all weathers, exploring the natural world and building their physical and mental resilience.

Whether children play outside or inside, they are often likely to get their clothes dirty. If it's possible, send your child to nursery in clothes which they can get messy in. If it’s difficult to afford outdoor clothing, or you have concerns about them getting messy, speak to your nursery or ELC provider, as they might be able to help. Our page on getting to grips with the costs of childcare has more advice on this.

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