Starcatchers is the leading national organisation specialising in Arts and Early Years, working across sectors with Artists and other practitioners to develop their expertise through artist opportunities and Creative Skills training.

Creative Skills Training

We believe in the transformational power of the arts to help our children lead healthier, happier lives, and we want to work with practitioners across education, health, play and the arts to put the arts and creativity at the heart of Early Years practice in Scotland.

We deliver a series of ground-breaking Creative Skills training courses for early years practitioners and students in a number of local authorities across Scotland. The Creative Skills Programme empowers adults who work with young children, helping them to feel and be more creative, promoting an engaging, playful, open-ended and child-centred approach.

All our training is run by artists and facilitators who specialise in creative activity for the very young, using playful, child-led experiences that help support the delivery of key policies.

Our core training programme is funded by the Scottish Government. For those who complete the Creative Skills training programme, we also offer an SQA-approved level 7 qualification Creative Skills in early Childhood Practice (24 credits).

Already completed the Creative Skills training programme? Sign up here for the Creative Skills in Early Childhood Practice SQA Level 7 qualification 2018

Find out more details about our Training courses

Artist Development

We have a number of opportunities for Artists to collaborate with Starcatchers in different ways from bursaries and residencies to one off trainings. All of our Artist Opportunities can be found in the Starcatchers Creative Community.

Starcatchers is a lead organisation for a two year European research project called Artists, art and early childhood. Together with Compagnie ACTA (France) and 2 Turven Hoog (Netherlands), this project is funded by Erasmus Plus.

Find out more about our Artists, Art and early childhood project

Meet our current Associate Artists and see what they are up to on behalf of Starcatchers

Bespoke Training

We work directly with organisations to deliver bespoke training – past clients have included NDNA, Aberdeen City Council, Dundee City Council, University of West of Scotland, SOSCN, Midlothian Association of Play and SCMA. The kinds of training we offer:

In-service days, linking the arts and creativity to key policies and curriculum, as well as practical sessions exploring examples of playful, child-led experiences

Working directly with organisations/Early Years settings, from one off sessions to inspire staff, to working on a longer term basis to put the arts and creativity at the heart of practice

Bespoke training programmes for third sector organisations who are looking for their staff to work with children in a more creative way

Break out sessions and practical workshops for conferences across Health, Education, Play and Early Years

For more information about Creative Skills bespoke training, contact Mara Barth (