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21 December 2022

Creative learning in the early years

Small child looking through a bridge with binoculars

70 Childcare settings from across Wales are invited to join a new Creative learning initiative.

Creative learning in the early years is a joint initiative between the Arts Council of Wales, Early Years Wales and the Welsh Government supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The initiative will bring together early years practitioners and creative arts professionals to create environments and experiences that are rich in language, play, physical development, engagement with the outdoors, arts, creativity and a sense of wonder and belonging.

Creative learning in the early years builds on the well-established Lead Creative Schools Scheme, delivered by Arts Council of Wales, which has brought bespoke projects to over 700 primary, secondary and special schools. The scheme has supported schools to nurture the creativity of learners and has prepared them to get ready for the new Curriculum for Wales 2022.

Over the next three years Creative learning in the early years will work together with early years settings, combining the central principles of the new Curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings with the learning approach developed for the Lead Creative Schools Scheme.

There are two opportunities to get involved in Creative learning in the early years:

1. Early years settings interested in getting involved can find out more information and complete an expression of interest which is live on the Arts Council of Wales website until 1 February here.

2. Creative Practitioners interested in working with the initiative can find out more on the Arts Council of Wales website, here.

This new collaboration with Early Years Wales, supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, marks a new development in the Creative learning programme and builds on the successful partnership between the Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales.

The Lead Creative Schools Scheme has demonstrated how bringing creative professionals and teachers together can create whole school change. Teachers are using arts-based creativity to foster a love of learning, to take learning beyond the traditional classroom and to realise the potential of their learners across all areas of the curriculum.

Extending these experiences to our younger learners will ignite their natural curiosity and engagement with learning and support their development as autonomous, life-long learners.
Dafydd Rhys, Chief Executive at Arts Council of Wales.
Designed to complement the curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings in Wales, this initiative will create inspiring opportunities for artists and early years settings to collaborate through co-constructed projects working with learners aged 3-4 years old. The initiative will support the natural creativity and curiosity of children and inspire early years practitioners with new ideas and approaches to enabling creative habits of mind in their practice, across the curriculum, and throughout their setting.

We are excited to launch this project in 2023 and look forward to working with settings across Wales, and with artists across the wide range of the arts in Wales. We are excited at the prospect of seeing the collaborative projects open up new ideas to create enabling experiences, to inspiring the enabling adults, and to enhancing the enabling environments that all contribute towards helping our youngest learners commence their journey towards being ambitious, enterprising, and creative contributors through their early education experiences.
David Goodger, Chief Executive Officer at Early Years Wales.

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