Early Years

Baby having fun with a interactive book

Why engage at early years stage?

Research shows that the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland starts in the early years and increases overtime, therefore a focus on early intervention is crucial. There is a robust evidence base of the effectiveness of early interventions which focus on helping parents to support children’s learning at home such as high-quality early learning provision; and targeted interventions in disadvantaged communities that address children’s early cognitive, language and numeracy development.

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Nursery Enrolment


Nursery enrolment offers the next opportunity to encourage library membership to those who may have been missed via the early registration touch points or whose membership is no longer active. The 1140 ELC expansion programme means that early year’s providers have increased contact with children and families and may look to make better use of community facilities and services. The Scottish Early Childhood, Children and Families Transition Statement (2019)) places a particular focus on transitions in early childhood in order to give all children the best possible start. Libraries can help support smooth transitions for children and families by supporting early years settings at transition events and through the range of early years programmes that they offer. Scottish Booktrust have a Nursery to P1 transition Session that can be found here.


Bookbug sessions provide an ideal opportunity to further promote library membership. For those parents who signed up via registrars it allows library staff to encourage parents to actively use their card and deliver key messages about the benefits of library membership. For those not already signed up, it presents another chance to offer membership. To ensure sign ups at this stage, making it as easy as possible for parents to join is key.

A graphic of Bookbug
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A toddler selecting a book from the library

Preferred Method

It is recommended that senior managers reach an agreement with the local education department to have a tick box for library membership on the nursery enrolment form. Due to GDPR, membership must be offered on an opt in basis rather than opt out and data sharing protocols should be established. A universal approach that offers convenience for parents is key to success and ensuring a high take up of membership.

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