We are now taking bookings for the 2018 CALA Conference

We are delighted to announce we are now taking bookings for the 2018 CALA Conference. The title of this year’s conference is ‘The extraordinary power of play; when we play the whole world wins“. 

The CALA conference team have been hard at work planning a day full of inspiring speakers, interactive workshops, and a few little surprises along the way. 

Read enough? Ready to book? Click here!

Speakers and invited guests

Learn more about our fantastic lineup of speakers and workshop leaders by visiting our conference webpage. 

Key Conference Details

Where: Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church, Wellside Road, Inverness, IV2 7GS 

When: Thursday 27th September 2018

How to book: simply fill out our online booking form by clicking here. 

Price: For CALA members the price is £15 per ticket. For non-members, the price is £25 per ticket.


If you’d like to know more about the 2018 CALA Conference, either check our conference webpage or give our Inverness office a call on 01463 222569, or email [email protected]

Cornton Nursery’s visual pathway to success

We really liked this really effective practice example of an improvement journey shared in Education Scotland’s ‘Education News Digest’:

“The first of our new sketchnotes, which illustrates highly effective practice identified through inspection in an easy-to-understand graphic, is now available on the National Improvement Hub. Developed with Cornton Nursery in Stirling, the sketchnote sets out in visual form the nursery’s pathway to success and is accompanied by a blog from the headteacher which details their inspection experience. We’ll be developing more of these resources in the coming months, drawing on best practice seen across Scotland.”

Click here to view the sketchnote. 

Read the corresponding blog post here. 

Announcing the launch of calastaffbank.co.uk

Care and Learning Alliance are delighted to announce the launch of www.calastaffbank.co.uk, the new home for CALA Staffbank on the web. 

What is CALA Staffbank? 

The CALA Staffbank provides a unique opportunity for both men and women to work or gain experience working in the childcare sector in a variety of stimulating environments.

Staffbank welcomes applications throughout the year from a diverse workforce including those looking for a new, interesting and challenging role working with children, to those qualified or working towards their Childcare Qualification.

Using the website

To apply to become a relief childcare practitioner with Staffbank, head to the ‘work for us‘ page, where you will be walked through the application process. 

If you represent a childcare centre and want to make use of the Staffbank in order to cover staff shortage, go to the ‘become a Staffbank client‘ page, where you can download all the necessary paperwork. 

Members Area

If you are already a Staffbank practitioner, there is a ‘members area’, where you can download documents relating to your work as a Staffbank practitioner. This page requires a password to access. Ask Darren or Amanda for the password 🙂

What’s Next? 

We have plans to improve the Staffbank website in the coming weeks and months and we would love your help. Is there anything missing you would like to see on there? Let us know! Contact [email protected] to share your feedback. 


Update to the ‘Setting the Table’ Guidance

The ‘Setting the Table’ guidance has been updated by Health Scotland with a revised introduction. If you have a hard copy of the existing guidance, you should use it in conjunction with the revised introduction. 

You can find the updated version on Health Scotland’s website here: http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/30341.aspx

Health Scotland plans to release another update to ‘Setting the Table’ in 2019, in light of recent policy changes and scientific evidence reviews. 

Celebrating CALA’s volunteers: Aga, Margaret, Nikki and Shona

All week we have been celebrating the fantastic contribution that CALA volunteers make to their local communities. In this blog post, we focus on some of our amazing Family Support volunteers.

Volunteer Profile: Aga Rudak

“My name is Aga and I am a busy mother of two bright and lovable children. I have been volunteering with CALA Family First since Autumn 2014.”

“I started helping with a local playgroup and then working with families. Volunteering gives me the possibility to develop my professional path and also a lot of satisfaction. This kind of satisfaction is priceless. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet many people and make someone’s life better.”

Volunteer Profile: Shona Dreghorn

“I started volunteering for CALA so that I could try and make a little bit of difference to the lives of people who require some family support. I now have free time so wanted to put it to good use and it’s a great feeling knowing I can use it to help others out at a difficult time. I also decided to do it to give something back to a service I once used and was really grateful for.  I love doing the volunteering and will continue to keep doing it for as long as possible.”
To all of CALA’s volunteers, past and present, Care and Learning Alliance would like to say a big thank you for giving up your time to help make a real difference to the lives of children and families across Highland. 
Interested in volunteering for CALA? Please see our website for more information: www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk or contact our main office on 01463 222 569 

Celebrating CALA’s Volunteers – James O’Donnell

June 1st – June 7th is ‘Volunteers Week‘. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate some of the volunteers CALA have had the pleasure of working with over the years.

James O’Donnell – Volunteer at Junior World

James O’Donnell volunteered at Junior World in Nairn. Here’s Jayne, manager of Junior World, to describe how he got on:

James contacted Jayne at Junior World last year to ask if he could be supported to follow his dreams to find employment working with children.

He has been committed, enthusiastic and has demonstrated great determination, completing our #Openingdoors program and online learning modules. This dedication has led to him being accepted to undertake his SVQ with UHI and shortlisted for a SSSC award.

James is a fantastic role model to other young men who may wish to consider a career in Early Learning and Childcare. As a volunteer James has developed strong and trustful relationships with the children and his considerate and thoughtful approach also makes him a great hit with our new friends during our Intergenerational Care Home visits.

Thank you James! 

Interested in volunteering for CALA? Please see our website for more information: www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk or contact our main office on 01463 222 569