Over the next 10 months we are embarking on a creative online campaign highlighting the transformational effect arts and creativity from birth has on a child’s early development.

Arts and creativity help children make sense of the world, giving them the power to explore their emotional, physical and cognitive development.  It’s not about doing something better than others or creating something perfect, it is about thinking, exploring, discovering, and imagining.

It’s time to put creativity at the heart of EVERY child’s early childhood.

How can you join the revolution?

  • Follow our 10 month campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Each month will have a different theme around arts and creativity with competitions and fun ideas to share with friends and family #Starcatchers10 
  • Follow the Arts from the Start blog for updates, resources and challenges throughout the campaign
  • Tell us why you believe in Arts from the Start by using the hashtag #AFTS16
  • Show your support by downloading the AFTS twibbon to your social media profile
  • Download our posters from our resources page and share why arts and creativity are so important for our youngest children

AFTS in Childcare Settings

Since 2013 Starcatchers has been funded by the Scottish Government to work with Early Years practitioners across the country to help them feel, and be, more creative. Our Creative Skills Programme is transforming practice and changing lives, empowering practitioners and reminding them what their jobs are really about.

In 2016 we want to share what we’ve learned so far, and inspire EVERY SETTING in Scotland to put creativity at the heart of Early Years Practice by joining the Arts from the Start campaign.

We are getting in touch with every single nursery in Scotland to build a community of creative, inspiring Early Years practitioners, and we’ll provide free opportunities for networking and training for managers and practitioners.

Throughout 2016 we’ll be focusing on different aspects of creativity monthly, sharing links to research and resources, creative challenges to boost creative practice in your own setting, and printable resources to share with parents and families.

Why is Creativity so Important?

The importance of creativity is at the centre of Scottish Government policies and guidelines: from Curriculum for Excellence and HGIOS, the UNCRCGIRFEC and RAFA, there is a strong emphasis on the voice of the child, the importance of child-centred approaches and involving children in decision making and shaping their own learning. The arts provide unique opportunities for very young children to express themselves and develop the skills and confidence they need to be positive agents in their own lives.

There’s a wealth of evidence proving arts and creative approaches boost attainment in literacy and numeracy, support healthy development and wellbeing, and are particularly effective when working with our most vulnerable children. There is agreement across the board that creativity is a good thing, but in practical terms, it’s not always easy to know how to put that knowledge into practice.


Early Years Practitioners at our AFTS16 Inspiration Day believe in Arts from the Start because…

…it’s exciting for babies and grown-ups!

…surely all children should be entitled to access the arts from a very early age!

…the arts are imperative to EVERY child’s development, the sooner they experience artistic practice, the better!

…when else do you start?

…it creates a strong platform for learning in all areas, for enjoyment and development of confidence and well-being

…it begins a new thought process about learning and encourages practitioners, children and parents to explore methods of learning beyond the classic classroom setting