Physical and sensory play for children

The Yard in Edinburgh provides day care for children with additional support needs.

The children have access to a wide, varied and challenging range of activities that are not available to them anywhere else. This includes access to physical play and fresh air through use of the large, enclosed, outdoor play area with a variety of physical and sensory equipment. Staff work as a team to provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment for children. The service also offers parents support and respite.

Sequence 01Jenny MacDonald, fundraising manager, explained: "We provide a range of play and youth work services to 1,500 children between three and 25 years old,  each year.  We work closely with schools and special units.  The parents often describe The Yard as a lifeline. It's somewhere they can come as a family and play, which is safe but yet challenges their children.  At The Yard we encourage children to take risks, have a bit of fun and always challenge themselves."

Monica Shaw, mother to Lauren who attends the service, said: "Lauren and I have used The Yard for seven years.  As soon as we came here, we fell in love with the place - the freeness of it.  Lauren is able to run and play, without me completely down her neck and, because it's enclosed, I can turn my back without worrying.  For her to be able to cycle, to jump, to run, even play in the mud is great.  And the friendships that she's made here are priceless." 


Lucas has been coming to The Yard for six years.  He said: "I come every Monday and sometimes on respite. I'm not at school so I don't have anything to do.  When I come here it's fun because I've got something to do. I like cooking and being outside.  They've got real traffic lights now. And they've got a dome so if it's wet you can still go outside."

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We publish regular inspection reports for all care services - and grades can go up and down depending on what we see. The effective practice we see here should always be read in conjunction with the latest inspection report.


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