Early Years Outdoor Practitioner (EYOP) Permanent

Role Description 

The EYOP will work with the Nursery Manager and the Multi Site Manager to play a key role in embedding high quality learning experiences for children. We are seeking an enthusiastic, friendly practitioner with the skills knowledge and experience who will enhance our existing team.

A passion for delivering outdoor play-based learning for young children is essential. But that is not all. We are looking for an EYP who will ‘walk the talk,’ who can support the creation of play and learning experiences that are high quality and child-led.

You will know how to extend learning opportunities, support risky play and most importantly, how to communicate effectively with children and their families.

Skills and Abilities

  • Be skilled at creating outdoor play based learning opportunities
  • Understand the impact of positive interactions
  • Be able to create experiences and spaces that provoke curiosity with children outdoors
  • Demonstrate active listening and responding
  • Follow children’s interests
  • Problem solving
  • Excellent communication skills


  • Work as a team in planning, designing and continually developing the outdoors spaces
  • Hold a Key Worker role providing positive experiences and interactions for children
  • Lead by example implementing child led learning
  • Embed a curriculum based on curiosity using Realising the Ambition and other relevant local and national documents
  • Support and implement the daily routine
  • Carry out administrative duties and complete daily/weekly/monthly record sheets and risk assessments
  • Carry out observations ensuring children’s files, learning/care plans are accurate and up to date
  • Contribute to planning and evaluation of learning
  • Continually develop own skills & knowledge in outdoor ELC practice
  • Build positive relationships and clear communication lines with parents and families
  • Fully participate in planning for improvement using HGIOELC/Care Inspectorate Quality Framework
  • Provide a role model as a reflective practitioner
  • Use technology to communicate children’s progress
  • Follow policies and procedures, ensuring these are understood and implemented
  • Contribute to the policy working group as part of our collaborative approach to ongoing improvement

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Qualified to SCQF level 7 (HNC/SVQ 3) Childhood Practice/Early Years and Young People, as a minimum or working towards this
  • Experience in an EYP role
  • Have a passion for the outdoors
  • Full, clean PVG membership
  • Must be able to register with SSSC as a Childcare Practitioner
  • Knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence in Early Years, specifically Realising the Ambition
  • Commitment to continued professional learning
  • Experience with Health and Safety procedures and Risk Assessments with particular emphasis on outdoor settings
  • Competent with online communication, and completing children’s learning journals to a high standard

Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge and understanding of outdoor play/learning (see skills and abilities)
  • Knowledge of reflective planning/planning in the moment
  • Recent first aid/Outdoor paediatric first aid certificate
  • Outdoor skills training (Bushcraft/Den Building, etc.)

Personal Qualities

  • Approachable and friendly, ‘a people person’
  • Caring and nurturing
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Positive, ‘can-do’ approach
  • Collaboration and team working comes naturally

Inclusion and Diversity

The Willow Den team is made up of diverse people from all kinds of backgrounds bringing vast and unique experiences, all united in our passion for outdoor Early Learning and Childcare.

Terms of Engagement 

  • Reporting to the Nursery Manager
  • Hours of work: Full time 40 hours or Part-Time (pro-rata)
  • Contract Basis: Permanent
  • Salary: £25,000 – £28,000 (based on skills and experience)
  • Annual leave: 29 days annual leave plus 8 public holidays
  • Employer pension contribution 7%
  • Location: North Edinburgh
  • Job share options may be available

Reference ID: 0923_SP_EYOP

Application Pack

How Do I Apply? 

Please email a completed Application Form to the HR team at jobs@willowden.scot

For more information or if you have any questions about the role or the application process please contact Kathie at jobs@willowden.scot