#OpeningDoors Update


Welcome to our last #Openingdoors blog of the summer where you find us half way through our 3rd year! How did that happen?! This has been our busiest summer yet and there are still so many exciting things to come this year!

od-blog-picIn June we were delighted to be invited by Holyrood Magazine to be part of their Developing the Early Years Workforce event. In preparation for the event some of our fantastic #Openingdoors graduates soon got to work creating video clips for the day that highlighted their unique journeys into a career in Childcare. A huge thank you to Hayley and Zoe for dedicating so much time to this, and to Cougar for all his patience editing the footage – here they are on the big screen!

Click here to read the full #OpeningDoors report [PDF] .

Road Safety Week: 20th – 26th November 2017

A great learning opportunity to support awareness of road safety! Why not register to join in the ‘Beep Beep’ day for 2 – 7 year olds on 22nd November 2017

Simply go to: www.roadsafteyweek.org.uk/edu/602-run-a-beep-beep-day to find out more! Alternatively http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/educators?dm_i=LQE,543QJ,N9ODB2,JLWXL,1 to view the full range of options for raising awareness with children of all ages.

Norma Ruettimann, CALA Training Development Manager

Upcoming Training: Technologies for Early Learning and Childcare


This is a Highland Council CPD course for all practitioners working in Highland with children aged 0-5 years.

Taking account of Education Scotland’s recently published ‘Benchmarks – Technologies’ including refreshed outcomes and experiences, this session aims to give staff confidence in delivering Technologies in the early level – helping to allay any potential fears or misconceptions!

We will share ideas which offer children daily opportunities to engage with every day, technology-related items and extend their learning in line with national guidance, principles and practice.

We will explore ways to provide interactive, age and stage appropriate opportunities to support interdisciplinary learning, including early maths, numeracy and problem solving.

Dates and Times

Inverness (Millburn Academy) – Tuesday 5th September 2017, 1.30pm -4pm

Strathpeffer Community Centre – Wednesday 6th September 2017 – 1.30pm-4pm

Kyleakin Community Hall – Tuesday 12th September 2017 – 1.30pm-4pm

Wick – Peoples Town Pultney Centre – Thursday 14th September 2017 – 1.30pm-4pm

Booking Information

To register, go to: http://highland.cpdservice.net/ or contact the CALA Inverness office on 01463 703033 for further information.

The course will be delivered by Care and Learning Alliance.

Upcoming free training: ‘Planning for Out of School Care’

We are pleased to announce our upcoming FREE training event: ‘Planning for Out of School Care‘, taking place on Wednesday 30th August in Merkinch, Inverness. Please see the following flyer for more information.

To book on to this course, please call 01463 703033, or email [email protected]


Having trouble reading the flyer? Click here to download it as a Microsoft Word document. 

Highland Child Protection Committee dedicated website launched!


Child Protection is Everyone’s Responsibility

Just a reminder for those of you who may have missed our previous blog, announcing this super new resource which serves as a hub for Child Protection in Highland. Just click on www.hcpc.scot and you’ll be able to access the following sections:

  • Help and advice
  • Resources
  • Training – book direct, no booking forms required, access free E-learning on an Introduction to Child Protection, Children Affected by Parental Substance Misuse and Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Children and Young People
  • Parents and Carers
  • Communities
  • Contact
  • Register for information updates

Norma Ruettimann, CALA Training Development Manager

New Course on the CALA E-Learning Zone – an Introduction to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)


Child Protection is Everyone’s Responsibility

The CALA training team, working in partnership, are delighted to announce the launch of another new FREE interactive e-learning module which can be easily accessed on your smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC: ‘an Introduction to Child Sexual Exploitation’.

We may not like to think that this happens, however, sadly it does. This interactive e-module blends theory, information and guidance to help us be aware of CSE and help keep children safe.

Click here to access this FREE module and browse our other courses on our E-learning Zone.

Scotland’s Baby Box available nationwide

The following press release comes from the  Scottish Government: 

All babies in Scotland due from tomorrow will be gifted a box full of essential items aimed at tackling inequality and promoting health.

The boxes are a strong signal of the Scottish Government’s determination that every child, regardless of their circumstances should get the best start in life.

Each Baby Box contains a large number of items which are not only practical but designed to help tackle inequality and improve health. The box itself also doubles up as a safe sleep space, awarded British Safety standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use.

All babies due on or after 15 August will be eligible for a Baby Box.

Read more about Baby Boxes on the ‘Parent Club’ website. 

Wimberley Estate Childcare Centre – Summer 2017 Newsletter

The following blog update comes from Tracy at Wimberley Estate Childcare Centre:

WECC Baby Room

All of us in the baby room would like to wish our children well who have recently moved up to the 2-5 room, and we welcome our newest intake of children whom are all settling in very well.

screenshot-outlook-office-com-2017-08-11-10-04-00Here in the baby room we have been making the most of the quieter days, while some of you have been enjoying your holidays, we have been able to go to Simpsons where the children were mesmerized by the different colourful fish, we have also been to feed the ducks and swans at the University where we were able to see the baby swans.

screenshot-outlook-office-com-2017-08-11-10-05-13With all this nice weather we have been having we have been able to enjoy lots of outdoor play at various parks and in the garden; drawing with chalk, singing songs on the seesaw, exploring the big garden and playing on the tree house and climbing frames.

Currently our planning is focussed around continuing to settle new children and sensory play which children have been very engaged in. So far this week babies have liked play with oats, pasta, lentils, crazy soap and gloop.


If your child is ill, please do not bring him/her to the Centre. Coughs, sneezes, sickness and diarrhoea spread very rapidly through the group. If your child has an infectious illness, please keep him/her away from the group until the infectious period is over. In line with NHS infection control guidelines we ask that in the case of sickness and diarrhoea you keep your child at home until they have been clear for 48 hours.

The following guidelines are the minimum periods of exclusion – the doctor in attendance may in some cases desire longer exclusions.

· Chickenpox 5 days from onset of rash

· Measles 5 days from onset of rash

· Rubella 5 days from onset of rash

· Mumps until the swelling has subsided, but not less than 9 days from the onset of symptoms.

Head lice – head lice are common and easily spread amongst children; treatment is simple via a number of over the counter remedies. There is no need to be embarrassed about your child having nits or lice. For further information please ask your pharmacist. As soon as you have completed the simple treatment your child can attend the centre as normal.

WECC 2 – 5 Room


All of us are wishing our children leaving to go to school or further afield well in their new adventures, and would like to welcome our new children just moved up from our baby room whom are already settling in well due to the transitions they have been experiencing over the past few months.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who have kindly donated toys and resources to us, we really appreciate these gestures as do the children.

screenshot-outlook-office-com-2017-08-11-10-11-37We have been making the most of the nice weather with lots of outdoor play in the garden and at various parks. We’ve been busy in the holidays bug hunting finding lots of slugs, snails, slaters and spiders. We also enjoyed getting our green fingers on planting our bulbs and seeds which we can hopefully see grow into beautiful flowers.

Our planning is currently focussed on learning about princes and princesses through reading various fairytale stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast. Children have been busy making their own crowns and wands and dressing up as their favourite characters.

Announcing the launch of the newest course on the CALA E-Learning Zone


The CALA training team have been busy over the summer developing another new short format interactive e-learning module which can be easily accessed on your smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC: ‘Supporting Young Children’s Behaviour; guidance and ideas for staff and parents‘.

The module is also available in a shorter format: ‘Supporting Young Children’s Behaviour; ideas for parents‘.

We have produced promotional videos, to give you a better understanding of our new module: Practitioners video | Parents video.

As parents, carers, practitioners and family members we’ve all wondered at one time or another why children behave in certain ways and what we can to do support them, so why not come and have a look! Click here to have a look at these and other modules on the CALA Early Learning Zone.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s Children and Young People’s Early Intervention Fund.

10 ideas for rainy day outdoor play


No need to let the changeable weather spoil the last week or two of the school holidays – Play Highland have signposted us to some useful ideas for rainy outdoor play: http://www.letthechildrenplay.net/2011/04/10-ideas-for-outdoor-rainy-day-play.html