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As the campaign is still in its early infancy, we weren’t intending to start blogging for a while but there was some unexpected press coverage for the campaign last week:

The National: Current education system is ‘doing so much damage to children’ say campaigners

The Scotman: Children should start Primary school at seven.

This led several new supporters in our direction, so it seems worth spreading around on social media in the hope of attracting more people to contact  At present, our main aim is to rally as many interested parties as possible to the Upstart campaign for a statutory play-based kindergarten stage for children aged three to seven.   

In the coming months we’ll use this blog to expand on our reasons for believing why a kindergarten stage is important… and why it becomes more important every day in a quick-fix, fast-moving, 21st century world. But as a way of setting the stage, the short video below sums up the significance of play in children’s development.

It was created by the International Play Association (IPA) to support the 2013 General Comment on Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  And there’s a Scottish connection because one of Upstart’s earliest supporters, Theresa Casey, is currently President of IPA and was involved in composing the General Comment.  

There’s now overwhelming evidence that providing children with space and time to play – particularly in the early years – helps ensure their long-term health and well-being.  What’s more, rather than relying on some narrow concept of ‘school readiness’, active, creative play is an essential element in helping young children become committed, successful lifelong learners.

Sue Palmer, Chair of Upstart     

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