BASPCAN Scottish Conference – Friday 1st December in Perth

BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) are holding a conference in Perth on Friday 1st December 2017.

The topic of their conference is ‘Communicating and Engaging with Children and Young People‘.

From their press release:

“The Scottish Branch of BASPCAN is pleased to announce our presenters for this year’s conference. With a focus on supporting and enhancing direct practice, we have managed to secure a range of acclaimed speakers to explore this vital and fascinating area of practice. Through a keynote lecture and interactive workshop-style presentations, participants will have the opportunity to consider best practice alongside the latest messages from research.”

Download their conference flyer to learn more about their upcoming conference. 

Or learn more about BASPCAN on their website.

‘Loose Parts’ and ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour’ training courses – Inverurie, 30th November

There are still some places left at our two upcoming training courses in Inverurie! Here are the details:

What: ‘Loose Parts’ and ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour’ training courses.
When: Thursday 30th November 2017
Where: Kintore Arms, Inverurie.
How much: £15 per course, or £25 for both.

How to book: simply fill out our quick and easy online form:…/inverurie-training.h…

Any questions? Please call 01463 703033, or email [email protected]

The potential threat of ‘Live Streaming’ platforms to children

The following update comes from Thinkuknow:

The area of live streaming presents a nuanced threat to children and young people due to the immediacy of contact and the large numbers of offenders and comments that young people are dealing with live, in real time. The CEOP Education team have developed online sessions and activities  to support and educate different age groups, with the resources aimed at younger children focus on the behaviours associated with growing self-esteem and positive attention seeking, and the sessions for the 13+ age group focus on a case study of a live streaming scenario.

There are also accompanying resources for parents and carers to educate them about their children’s internet use and factsheets for professionals that provide context and information about live streaming.

Simply click on to access these materials and help protect our children and young people from child sexual exploitation.

Gaelic Toddler Group Update

Gaelic Toddler Development Workers support and promote Gaelic language and usage amongst our youngest children and their parents throughout Highland, providing quality play experiences at Gaelic Toddler groups including Bookbug, [email protected] and Song time.

We have positive feedback from parents who are considering bilingualism for their children through Gaelic Education and parents who had not previously considered this:

“Cha do smaoinich mi riamh air foghlam tro mheadhain na Gàidhlig airson mo nighinn bheag gus an do thòisich i ag ràdh faclan Gàidhlig an-dèis dhith a bhith aig a’ Chròileagan.”

“I had never thought about Gaelic Medium for my daughter until she started saying Gaelic words following the toffee group. She is now moving into Gaelic nursery”

Tha na buidhnean Gàidhlig air a bhi trang ag obair ri dathan!

The Gaelic groups have been busy working with colours!


New Minister for Childcare and Early Years – Maree Todd

Maree Todd has been announced as Minister for Childcare and Early Years, pending approval by parliament and the queen.

Ms Todd said: “I am honoured to be asked to carry out this important role. The early years are so crucial in shaping Scotland’s next generation. A lot of great work has already been done and I am really looking forward to continuing to take forward policies like the Baby Box, the commitment to almost doubling entitlement to free early learning and childcare hours and leading celebrations for the Year of Young People 2018. I am relishing getting started and helping make a difference to the lives of all children in Scotland.


A well-known face here in Highland, Ms Todd attended Ullapool High School, then studied pharmacy and prescribing at Robert Gordon’s and Strathclyde, as well as taking an ante-natal teaching diploma at the University of Bedfordshire, all by distance learning. A pharmacist by profession, Ms Todd worked in NHS Highland for 20 years, mainly as a mental health pharmacist in a psychiatric hospital. She also contributed to SIGN guidance on perinatal mental health.

FREE course on the CALA E-Learning Zone: Smart Start

The Smart Start Programme has been carefully developed to equip all Early Learning and Childcare practitioners and parents with the tools and confidence to enjoy delivering a crucial aspect of all children’s learning and development. As practitioners and parents supporting children’s early development, you are in a position to make a significant positive difference to children’s lives and the choices they make later on.

THIS free training course is available on the CALA E-Learning Zone:


Childline app helps teenagers say ‘no’ to sexting

The following blog post comes from NSPCC Scotland: 

An anti-sexting app from Childline is using humour to help teenagers deal with unwanted requests for sexual images of themselves. The Zipit app has been updated as new figures from Childline reveal the NSPCC service held 2,634 counselling sessions about sexting and self-generated explicit images in 2016/17. Sexting was also the most viewed topic on the Childline website last year with 221,840 page views. The free app offers young people a gallery of images and animations called GIFs they can send in response to requests for sexual pictures and to deal with difficult sexting situations.

Download the full guidance notes from the NSPCC:

or take a look at their new app here:

The benefits of becoming a CALA member…

Are you interested in becoming a CALA member? There are many many benefits to CALA membership, that can make your life as an ELC practitioner easier.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in CALA membership, please forward this blog post to them!

For a full list of membership benefits, please visit our website:

Or if you’re ready to go ahead and sign up as a member, just fill out our handy online form:

Two training courses taking place in Inverurie on the 30th of November – Loose Parts and Promoting Positive Behaviour

Care and Learning Alliance are pleased to announce two training events taking place in Inverurie on the 30th of November in Inverurie.

The courses are:

  1. Loose Parts – This course explores Loose Parts Play focusing on the newly launched Toolkit from Inspiring Scotland.
  2. Promoting Positive Behaviour – Training for Practitioners working in Early Learning and Childcare and Out of School Care.

Both courses take place on the 30th of November in the Kintore Arms, Inverurie. Loose Parts takes place between 10am – 12.30pm, and Promoting Positive Behaviour takes place between 1pm – 3.30pm.

Each course costs £15 individually, or £25 if you book both courses together.

Find out more by visiting our training schedule:

Or book now by using our online booking form:

Update from the Care Inspectorate regarding complaints procedure

The following update comes from the Care Inspectorate and relates to complaints procedures:

We have listened to feedback and updated our complaints procedure, effective from 1 November 2017.

Here are the main changes we have made:

  • Our definition of complaint has changed to ensure it is about care and support.
  • We have introduced a triage team of inspectors who contact complainants within 48 hours to listen to their concern, risk assess the complaint and identify the best method to resolve the concern.
  • There are different methods of resolving complaints – this includes noting some complaints as intelligence, frontline resolution of the complaint with the complained against and provider resolution where we refer the complaint to the service to resolve. Complaints assessed as high risk will be investigated by the Care Inspectorate.
  • We have introduced a post investigation review process – both the complainant and the complained against will be able to ask for a post investigation review of the complaint outcome.

You can download the procedure here:

Kind regards

Marie Paterson
Service Manager Complaints and Inspection

Care Inspectorate Safety Alert

The Care Inspectorate have issued the following safety alert to all settings:

We are aware of a number of incidents where children have left early learning and childcare services without an authorised adult. As you will know, this presents a significant risk to children’s safety and well-being.

There can be changes to services that may contribute to the potential risk of children slipping out unseen. There may be new children who are still settling in, changes to staffing and changes to premises following work undertaken during holiday periods etc.

In order to take a proactive and preventative approach we are reminding providers of their responsibility to ensure that individuals are observant of the children in their care, are knowledgeable about possible risk factors and follow safe and effective procedures.

Staff are also recommended to re-visit the guidance on records they should keep and when to report incidents to the Care Inspectorate.

Childcare services can access the guidance here:

Guidance for childminders is here:

If you need further advice or clarification on any of these issues, contact your CI Inpsector.

Next week is ‘World Nursery Rhyme Week’

As reported by the Highland Literacy Blog, next week is ‘World Nursery Rhyme Week‘.

The five nursery rhymes for this year are:

Monday 13th November: ‘Bobby Shafto’.

Tuesday 14th November: ‘Lavenders Blue’.

Wednesday 15th November: ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’.

Thursday 16th November: ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’.

Friday 17th November: ‘Old King Cole.

Register for Nursery Rhymes Week by visiting the Music Bugs website.