Up Start Scotland

International evidence shows that children under the age of seven benefit from an educational approach that supports their all-round physical, emotional, social and cognitive development, rather than pushing them towards early academic achievement.

In the long run a kindergarten stage enhances academic results. In the most recent OECD international review, the three most successful western nations were Finland, Estonia and Switzerland. All have a play-based kindergarten stage for three- to seven-year-old children.

There’s no educational advantage to an early start. Research has found that children who are taught literacy skills from the age of five do no better in the long run than those who start at seven – results even out by the time they’re in double figures.

On the other hand, an early start causes problems for many children. Many research studies have now linked an early start on formal education to social, emotional and mental health problems as the years go on. An increasing number of Scotland’s children and young people now suffer from developmental disorders and mental health conditions. While the reasons behind these problems are complex, we can’t ignore the impact of early pressure for academic achievement.

Upstart Scotland Website