Space to grow and thrive
Author Care Inspectorate
Date 14/05/2024
Resource Type Care Inspectorate Programmes & Publications

Space to grow and thrive

Space to Grow and Thrive

Research confirms that the environment plays a key role in shaping children’s development and learning. In Scotland, we want to create the best conditions for children to thrive and get the best from their childcare experience, and for Scotland to be the best place for children to grow up. Childcare environments must positively support children to access play and learning opportunities that benefit their development, health, wellbeing and happiness.

Space to Grow and Thrive builds on the previous Space to Grow resource and incorporates the lessons learned from the expansion programme along with the pandemic and feedback from the sector. This resource aims to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date framework for planning, designing and delivering high-quality ELC and SACC settings that support children’s wellbeing, learning and development. It incorporates the guidance and practice notes about indoor/outdoor settings, the practice note: delivering high quality play and learning environments outdoors and relevant sections of the hand hygiene and nappy changing guidance. Some of the updates include; ‘think about’ sections for self evaluation, photographs and examples of good practice, reference to vaping and smoking and links to the national health protection guidance for children and young people and other relevant current resources. 

To assist with planning purposes, we have provided some photographs of aspects of practice, which should be useful to those considering an indoor outdoor setting.




Natural environment












My world outdoors

A practice resource highlighting the benefits of outdoor play for children attending early learning and childcare.

My active world

This resource offers a wealth of fun ways to be physically active. By highlighting examples of good practice, we aim to promote a culture where everyone can learn from each other.

Our creative journey

A resource featuring good and innovative practice examples of expressive arts in early learning and childcare.