Benji the PlayTalkRead bus is coming to Highland!

Reay Under 5’s have fun in the snow

The following blog article was submitted by Yvonne Morris at Reay Under 5’s:

Here at Reay Under 5’s we are lucky enough to have access to a field a short walk from Playgroup.


We made the most of the snowy weather. There is nothing healthier than wrapping up and getting out to play in the snow.


The kids had a blast running around in the large safe open space. They worked together pulling the sledge, made snow angels and even did a bit writing in the snow!

Free Child Protection Event in Inverness – Wednesday 21st March 2018

Community Groups and Third Sector Organisations – find out your responsibilities for Child Protection.

If you would like to attend, please click here to be taken to the online registration form.

Alternatively, telephone 01463 222569 to book a place.

Mud Pi Day – Wednesday 14th March

Did you know Wednesday 14th March is Mud Pi Day? We know many of you have mud kitchens in your outdoor area and are well used to being creative with messy play outdoors. You will see that ‘Pi’ is missing the ‘e’ at the end. Quite deliberate as this is an opportunity to think about and celebrate some maths and numeracy learning outdoors. Why not get busy with some muddy maths play and let us know what happens?

For more information check out Juliet Robertson’s Creative Star website. where you will also find loads of ideas to support all kinds of outdoor play and learning for all ages.

It’s Scottish Apprenticeships Week! Here’s how CALA are getting involved…

Here at CALA, we are celebrating our three Modern Apprentices during Scottish Apprenticeship Week. Here is one of them – Maddie Cowie.

During this week we are supporting a ‘Careers in ELC’ event for young people at the SDS building on Church Street, Inverness on the 8th of March. CALA trainers will also be delivering a ‘Loose Parts Play Workshop’ (bookable here) at the event. Young people who attend will also gain 150 points through Young Scot’s rewards scheme. Our Staffbank will be there alongside other recruiting employers and organisations seeking volunteers. David will also be there demonstrating our online courses and issuing free vouchers.

Our Mentoring Support Officer Kirsty Hunter is attending the Highland Apprenticeship Showcase at Inverness UHI College campus today (March 7th). Kirsty is providing information and guidance regarding a career in Early Learning and Childcare, alongside delivering a workshop within the ‘Care World’. This event is open to the public from 4.30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Please share this post with anyone you think might be interested in a career in Early Learning and Childcare.

Upcoming CALA Training: Nurturing Creativity through Expressive Arts

This is a FREE Learning and Development session available to all CALA Members and practitioners working in CALA managed settings. Subject to availability. Non-members are welcome at a cost of £12.50 per person payable at time of booking.

Click here to book your place. 

This training is based on the newly launched ‘Our Creative Journey’ by Care Inspectorate.

In this session we will:

  • Consider the meaning of ‘creativity’ in relation to experiences with expressive arts.
  • Explore the new resource tool ‘Our Creative Journey’ and how we can use it to further develop environments and experiences in Expressive Arts, taking into account the interests, stage and needs of the children we work with.
  • Consider strategies to further develop our practice in promoting young children’s creativity through expressive arts.

Course Details

Elgin, Town Hall, Wednesday 7th March 2018, 6.30-9pm

Thurso, Weigh Inn, Wednesday 14th March 2018, 6.30 – 9pm

Inverness, Venue TBC, Monday 19th March 2018, 6.30 – 9pm

Fort William, Lochaber College, Monday 26th March 2018, 6.30pm – 9pm

How to Book

You can book on to this course using our online booking form:

Or if you’d prefer, telephone our Inverness office on 01463 222569.

Please note if you wish to book multiple people on to the course, booking over the phone is the simplest method.

Child Safety Week: 4th June – 10th June 2018

The following blog update comes from our friends at Inspiring Scotland

Child Safety Week runs from 4th to 10th June 2018 with the aim of reducing the numbers of Scottish children killed or seriously injured by accidents.

Around 40% of (non-neonatal) deaths of Scottish children under 15 are a result of unintentional harm.  We believe this number is far too high.  Especially when many of these serious accidents can be prevented through simple changes in family routines and behaviour.

This is why it is so beneficial to register for a FREE Child Safety Week pack. There’s no obligation, it takes a few moments and it means you’ll receive the latest information about the most serious accidents and the simple things families and carers can learn that help to prevent them as well as free downloads for use with families and children.

You can find out more about Child Safety Week, and the resources available, from the Child Accident Prevention Trust website

Safe Strong and Free – Highland Hero Week. Monday 5th March – Sunday 11th March

Calling all superheroes! 

The following update comes from Safe Strong & Free:

Following on from the success of last year, we are delighted to bring you Highland Hero Week. This year we are encouraging nurseries, schools, youth clubs and local businesses to join us by dressing up at work and making a donation or asking your friends and family to sponsor you. All competition entries can be sent to us by email at [email protected], or via Facebook. Looking forward to seeing them all.

We have some fabulous prizes for participants:

  • Weekend Belladrum ticket for 2 adults: Win a Belladrum Festival ticket for being the best dressed-up adult.
  • Family Landmark ticket (2 adults + 2 children): Best dressed-up child (parental permission required).

For more details, download the Highland Hero Week resource pack by clicking here.  

Data Protection Regulations for the Education Sector

New data protection laws come into effect in May. Learn what this means for the ELC sector by visiting the Information Commissioner’s Office’s ‘Education FAQs’: