How it works

General Information

We have developed this resource as a response to the Early learning and childcare sector, who have asked for a more Early learning and childcare specific resource. Some of the “Things” are repeated activities from the 23 Things Leadership and some are more relevant to Early learning and childcare.  Everything you need to take part in 23 Things Early Learning and Childcare Leadership is accessed through this website. The programme is open to any social service worker (in statutory, voluntary and private sectors) in Scotland. The programme is designed to:

  • offer an introduction to varied aspects of leadership
  • help you recognise your own leadership capabilities
  • encourage development of good leadership in the sector so that achievement of positive outcomes for people using services and their carers is central to care practice and service delivery.

Each of the 23 Things is a standalone piece of learning. There is no requirement to achieve all of them or to do them in order. However, doing Things 1 to 4 provides a good foundation for the rest.

Before you submit applications and evidence for any of the 23 Things Early Learning and Childcare Leadership Open Badges, it is essential that you achieve these two Open Badges first:

1     Getting started with Open Badges

Watch our 10 short video tutorials about getting started with badges. The tutorials show you how to create your SSSC Open Badges account, find badges, submit evidence for them, show people the badges awarded to you and collect feedback on your badges from others through endorsements.

2    Writing evidence for Open Badge applications

The evidence you provide is the most important part of your badge. The video explains what evidence is, why it is important and shows you how to provide the best evidence you can.

Why do I need to achieve these two Open Badges first?

Experience has shown that people are far more likely to achieve the evidence requirements for Open Badges if they have undertaken the two essential introductory badges first. Achieving the introductory badges helps you to become familiar with the Open Badge platform and assists you to provide the type of reflective evidence that is required to achieve open badges.

Why Participate?

Good leadership is vital for effective social service and healthcare practice. It is a crucial factor in high-quality services and achieving positive outcomes.

This online resource is designed to help you engage in your own leadership development through bite-size pieces of learning and to customise your learning experiences according to your interests and needs. The optional Open Badges provide a means of:

  • recognising your learning
  • achieving continuing professional development (CPD)
  • generating evidence that may be used towards SVQ or other awards.

Each of the 23 Things puts you at the centre. They help you to interpret your leadership and learning in the context of your own role, experience and work environment.


It’s very easy to take part in our online 23 Things Early Learning and Childcare Leadership programme. The only things you need are:

  • access to a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac with an internet browser and speakers/headphones
  • access to the internet via 3G/4G or broadband
  • an email address
  • an Open Badges account (you will set one up at the start of the programme).


There is no specified timescale to work through the programme – you work at your own pace. You are also free to pick and choose from each of the 23 Things according to your learning needs and interests.

Reflective writing

Each Thing invites you to engage in a piece of learning about leadership and provides a step-by-step approach to:

  • explore different features and characteristics of leadership
  • help you reflect on different aspects of your own leadership, learning and practice
  • achieve the (optional) Open Badge linked to each of the 23 Things

Each Thing has signposts to sources of guidance on reflective writing.

Further leadership development

23 Things Early Learning and Childcare Leadership is intended as a launchpad for your ongoing leadership journey. We hope that the learning experiences will encourage you to reflect further on your leadership capabilities, strengths and areas for development. The SSSC Step into Leadership website and resources can help you to continue your leadership learning and development.

Face-to-face sessions

We designed the programme to be done online, however if you feel your team would benefit from a face-to-face half day workshop to get you started please contact