Pre Birth to 3


In January 2005 The Scottish Executive, with Learning and Teaching Scotland, published the document ‘Birth to Three’ which was then updated and revised in 2010 to ‘Pre Birth to Three- Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families’. This document contains guidance for those involved in caring for babies and very young children, including early year’s workers, social care, health practitioners and students preparing to work in early years settings. The guidance also recognises the different and complementary ways in which very young children are cared for in different settings. It explains that all babies and young children need to feel loved, secure, happy and cared for in safe and healthy environments and that the care and wellbeing of children should be the concern of everyone. It suggests sensitive and respectful approaches; intending that as practitioners we will interpret and adapt the guidance as a framework for our own practice. The underlying principles of care for Pre Birth – Three are:

Rights of the Child

All children should be valued and respected at all levels and have the right to have their views heard and acted upon

To have the opportunities to express themselves verbally, non-verbally and through actions.
To develop an understanding of their independence with others.
To feel valued.
To be provided with opportunities to make choices and learn about sharing.
To be cared for in a setting which promotes inclusion.
To be involved in opportunities and experiences which allow them to develop skills, confidence and their own personality.
To be provided with privacy, space, a healthy diet and opportunities for rest in a safe environment


Relationships are important, providing the starting point for development and learning. Key considerations for establishing effective relationships include:

Providing opportunities to establish warm and affectionate bonds with significant people
Providing opportunities to interact with others, both adults and children
Maintaining respectful and inclusive partnerships between all those involved with the child
Developing environments that promote security and consistency
Developing environments that promote trust and understanding

Responsive Care

Responsive care means knowing and accepting each child and respecting each child as an individual. Key considerations for establishing responsive care include:

Building a knowledge of the individual child
Building an understanding of the needs and dispositions of each child
Ensuring interested, affectionate and appreciative adults
Using flexible, personalised and relaxed approaches
Working to enhance sensitivity and respect


Each child is an individual, a person who has the right to be responded to and treated with genuine respect at all times. Key considerations for establishing respect include:

Valuing diversity, in terms of children’s language, ethnic background, faith and family and family circumstance
Respecting children’s different experiences
Being sensitive to and understanding of differences, to ensure fairness, equality and opportunity.