New research: parents’ experiences and views on supporting early learning and development at home

Date: 18th December 2023
Category: Special Protection Measures

learning instruments on a desk

The focus of this research was on evaluating the effectiveness of current Scottish Government initiatives in supporting play and early learning for babies and young children living in poverty in Scotland. The research sought input from low-income parents and carers across Scotland to better understand their needs for fostering a positive home learning environment.

The key findings from the research include:

  • Parents and carers emphasise the importance of play, interaction, and following their child's interests for early learning. They are resourceful in providing activities at low or no cost and value various sources of support.
  • Parents and carers face barriers such as lack of confidence, and the impact of poverty, stress, and stigma on their ability to support their children's learning. Financial support and childcare are seen as crucial for creating an enhanced home learning environment.
  • Relationships with trusted professionals, though crucial, require time to build rapport and trust. While initiatives and services exist, gaps and barriers limit engagement with early learning opportunities for low-income families.
  • Parents and carers express confidence in supporting their children's learning but require better access to knowledge, advice, peer support, safe spaces, and respite.
  • A systems approach is suggested, with parents and carers recommending a range of changes to enable them to provide the early learning experiences for their children that they aspire to.

Read the research findings here