It’s our birthday and the party’s started 

Happy Birthday to us! Our office is turning 18 and we have been promoting and protecting children’s rights since 2004, the equivalent of an entire childhood.  

We’ve kicked off the special celebrations in style. We visited First Adventures Nursery in Linlithgow, West Lothian, to mark our milestone with fun-loving nursery children.  

Commissioner Bruce Adamson played games with toddlers and then children aged four and five confidently showed us around their outdoor area, which includes a zip slide.

Commissioner Bruce sits crossed-legged outside with a toddler. He is smiling and they are waving at each other.

Sophie, aged five, said: “Let’s play in the mud kitchen. We’re making mud cupcakes and a mud pie.” 

Her friend, Emma, four, said: “Here’s the music wall. We can make lots of noise here.” 

Grace, four, added: “You can hear the sea if you put this seashell to your ear. I can even hear seagulls.” 

The children gathered round for an enthusiastic rendition of Happy Birthday before tucking into birthday cake. 

Commissioner Bruce sits cross-legged on a tree trunk and reads to two little girls.

Commissioner Bruce said: “This has been the perfect place to celebrate our 18th. Rights-respecting practice is embedded throughout the nursery’s work, and it shows in how confident and resilient the children here are. 

“They have an amazing outdoor space which is teaching them about the environment, they have choices about what they do, where they play, and they are empowered to be creative and have lots of fun along the way. That doesn’t just apply to the older children in the nursery, it was also clear with the youngest children. Early years settings often have the best rights-respecting work and nursery staff have a unique role in developing children to their full potential. 

“And of course, it’s always good to have an excuse for some cake!”   

Nursery manager Gillian Mustard said: “The Commissioner is celebrating 18 years, and we are celebrating 25 years so there is lots to be excited about. 

“The last two years have been tough but even when we were forced to close in lockdown, we supported our children and families in other ways. It’s been lovely to host the Commissioner today and show exactly what we do as sometimes we feel like society thinks of us as babysitters. We do so much more. Education doesn’t start on the first day of primary school, it starts long before then and our role is vital in teaching children and allowing them to flourish. 

“Children’s rights are embedded in our work, and we know this leads to happy and confident children.” 

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