Times passes quickly when you are having fun…


For the past 13 years, every day was a happy day knowing I was going to have fun through play with children and their families. Thank you CALA for giving me these wonderful opportunities.

I loved my job for many reasons, such as: being called the ‘painting lady’ , seeing children’s happy faces when you walked through the door of a Toddler group, with your bag of ‘goodies’

It was rewarding when a parent came up to you to say they tried out your activities and hearing the little children’s voices singing along to the Bookbug ‘hello’ song just melted my heart.

I could go on and on about what I loved about this amazing ‘big warm caring family’, but the main thing that stood out for me was , everyone is passionate about working with , supporting and making a difference in the lives of children and families , the drive, commitment and stamina everyone has is amazing .

CALA moves at such a fast pace which is a good thing as you never get bored! There is always a new project / piece of work to challenge you and build on your knowledge and experience.

Teamwork plays a strong and important part within CALA and I was so fortunate to be a part of such a great team. I have made lovely friends within The Family Support Team, and as I head off to take a slightly different path within the caring sector – I will always think fondly of them all as they continue with the valued work supporting children and families throughout Highland

To me CALA has always, and I am sure will continue, to strive in making a difference – with each member of staff playing their part to help make Scotland ‘the best place for children to grow up’.

CALA – I will miss you.

Jayne Watt
Parent Toddler Co-ordinator

The Little Lochinver Litter Pickers win an award!

The following blog article was submitted by Jane, Amy, Michele at Lochinver Pre-school:


When Nicola Turner from ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’ visited Lochinver Early Learning Centre there was an extra surprise! She came to present the children with their certificate for the work they had completed with Wrigley’s Litter Less Campaign and being chosen as “Hero of The Month”. The children were presented with bags, gloves and a child sized litter grabber.

The extra surprise was being awarded another £175 for their Wrigley’s work! We were delighted to receive the extra money and hope to use it to fund the printing and postage of our “ban non-degradable glitter” poster which will be sent out to schools across Highland.

Learn more about the Wrigley’s Litter Less Campaign

Supporting children and families – new legislation to clarify information sharing provisions

The following information comes from The Scottish Government, in relation to new legislation on information sharing provisions: 

Public bodies and other organisations are to have a duty to consider if the sharing of information will promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of a child or young person.

The duty forms part of the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill, which will also ensure that the sharing is compatible with current law and will introduce a new code of practice for information sharing with regard to the Named Person service.

Publication of the Bill follows the parliamentary statement by Deputy First Minister John Swinney earlier this year.

Mr Swinney said:

“Earlier this year I outlined the next steps for the Named Person service, following the Supreme Court judgment which required changes to the provisions relating to information sharing in the 2014 Act. I am therefore very pleased to bring forward the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill.”

Read more about the new legislation on the Scot Gov website. 

A recap of the most recent PLiP training

Our latest Play and Learning Into Practice (PLiP) course has come to an end. Over the last 6 weeks participants have covered a great deal including learning about child development and health, principal factors affecting child development, the importance of play, components of a high quality Early Learning and Childcare environment, adult interactions to support children’s and much much more!

Together with workshops including books and story telling, woodwork, transient art, cookery, puppets, drama, physical play and more there was plenty of hands on learning. Our participants have indicated that they now feel they have increased knowledge, confidence and a wealth of ideas to take back to implement and enhance quality for children in their settings and enjoyed the fun interactive learning process!

The photo below summarises just a few of their thoughts:


The next PLiP course runs over 6 Fridays from the 1st September until the 6th October in Pulteneytown People’s Project in Wick and is free to Highland Council practitioners. If you feel this course would benefit you or a member of your team please get in contact with Gail in our Inverness office for further information and details of how to book.

Learn more about our upcoming PLiP training in this blog post. 

Telephone: 01463 703033

Email: [email protected]

SSSC – New Learning Strategy 2017-20 (updated)

The link to the SSSC New Learning Strategy in the previous blog post did not work. Please click here to be taken to the SSSC website, where you can download Learning Strategy.

SSSC – New Learning Strategy 2017-20


The SSSC have released their ‘Learning Strategy 2017-20’, which details the way in which they aim to support workforce development over the next few years.

SSSC Chief Executive Anna Fowlie said:

“Significant change and challenge in social services and across public services means we need to change the way we support learning and development. We need to innovate and collaborate in response to public service reform, advances in digital learning and changes in the way services are delivered, like health and social care integration and developments in early learning and child care.”

Click here to read the 2017-2020 Learning Strategy.

Tax Free Childcare

The following blog post was submitted by Linda Sutherland, CALA Finance Assistant:


Who can get Tax-Free Childcare?

The Tax-Free Childcare scheme is available to parents of children under 12 years old (under 17 if they have a disability).

If you’re a working parent, you can apply for Tax-Free Childcare which is available now. Tax-Free Childcare will replace Childcare Vouchers in the future.

How do I use Tax-Free Childcare and how much can I get?


How to use Tax-Free childcare:

  • You will set up an online childcare account to pay your childcare provider from.
  • For every £8 you pay into the account, the government will pay £2. The most the government will pay is £2,000 per child per year, and £4,000 for disabled children.
  • Every child will have a Tax-Free Childcare reference number. You can use this number to help identify payments.
  • You can only use Tax-Free Childcare to pay for registered or approved providers who sign up to the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

Click on link below to view 10 things that parents should know https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-free-childcare-10-things-parents-should-know

Upcoming Training: Play and Learning into Practice (September/October 2017)


Course Overview

This is a FREE introductory course for both new and inexperienced practitioners and experienced practitioner’s looking to refresh their skills and knowledge in the value of play and learning. The course is delivered over 6 days and provides wide range of practical learning experiences, knowledge on child development and an understanding of how to provide an effective childcare environment.

Download the course flyer


Location: Pulteneytown People’s Project, Wick


  • Friday 1st September 2017
  • Friday 8th September 2017
  • Friday 15th September 2017
  • Friday 22nd September 2017
  • Friday 29th September 2017
  • Friday 6th October 2017 9. 45a.m – 4p.m each day


For more information and to book a free place contact Care and Learning Alliance on 01463 703033 Or email [email protected]

Junior World (Nairn) Summer Holiday Planner 2017

Booking forms for Junior World in Nairn can be collected at the centre or by emailing [email protected] for more information. Remember to book your space early to avoid disappointment!


Click here to download the planner as a PDF.

All That Glitters Is Not Good

The following blog post was submitted by Jane Matheson at Lochinver Preschool:

Lochinver ELC has an important message to send out to everyone!

As part of their eco journey and Wrigley’s Litter Less campaign we have discovered the dangers of glitter! Watch our video and join us in taking action to protect our world!

We want to ban non-degradable glitter from schools and stop the manufacture and selling of glitter. Biodegradable glitter is available!

Click the video below to play our video:


Fishing for Litter

Lochinver Early learning Centre would like to thank the harbours at Ullapool, Kinlochbervie and Lochinver for their wonderful response to our fishing survey leaflets. Our blog video shows the results. Ullapool and Kinlochbervie are already part of the KIMO ‘Fishing for Litter’ initiative. After several meetings with Lochinver harbour they are now in discussions with a KIMO representative and we excitedly wait to hear the outcome. As one little boy said as he watched a trawler leave harbour, “I wonder if it’s a KIMO boat?


Find out more about the Wrigley Litter Less campagin by clicking here. 

Learn more about KIMO – “Working to protect, preserve and enhance our marine environment”

Peep – Learning Together Programme

The following blog post was submitted by Monika Maleszka-Ritchie, CALA Bi-lingual Coordinator:


Earlier this month most of the Toddler Team were training with Peeple – a charity which supports parents, carers, babies and children to learn together. Peeple practitioners and families share information and ideas about how to make the most of all of the learning opportunities that surround us in everyday life and play. Research shows that the home learning environment is really important – and that parents and carers can make a huge contribution to their children’s school-readiness.

The aim of the Peep Learning Together Programme is to train practitioners working with families to support the home learning environment. We explored a range of topics, session plans and resources and discussed how they could best be used at home, as part of drop-in sessions and to support regular groups. It was also a great opportunity to meet other organisations which also work with children. Our two trainers Gillian Forbes from Inverness and Lyn Rutherford from Edinburgh brought a huge amount of knowledge and enthusiasm.


We all learned a lot and had great fun during the practical sessions. I loved singing ‘Alice the Camel’ (a new one to me) and have already translated it for my Polish groups… Altogether now…