Weekly round-up

‘Being Prepared’ Continuous Professional Learning Sessions

Everyone at CALA is excited and optimistic that we will be shortly welcoming our children and families back to our settings across Highland. Preparations to ensure we are prepared to do this safely while still providing high-quality care and learning for our children began this week with a series of virtual learning sessions based on Scottish Guidance, sharing learning from our Keyworker Hubs and focusing on both child and practitioner Health and Wellbeing.

Over 70 staff including Service Coordinators, Childhood Practice Managers and Early Years practitioners attended the sessions. Practitioners will be further supported over the coming week with the launch of our new ‘Practitioners Portal’ on our website. The Portal is designed to serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information for our practitioners.

Updated reopening guidance for childcare providers

On Tuesday 23rd June there was further information on the re-opening of Early Learning and Childcare – including Out of School from the First Minister that subject to scientific and public health advice, all childcare providers will be able to reopen from 15 July 2020, if they wish to do so.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate have issued a letter to all childcare providers detailing what this means for them.

Click here to access the letter

Further announcements and guidance are expected to be issued shortly.

Interim guidance on the use of face masks and face coverings 

The Scottish Government has released interim guidance on the wider use of face masks and face coverings in health and social care.

Click here to access guidance

Parent Club – Changes to coronavirus restrictions

As coronavirus restrictions begin to change, Parent Club recognises the many questions parents will have and how they affect their family etc. Parent Club has a section of its website dedicated to providing information to what some of these questions may be. The page includes links to:

  • Returning to work
  • Your guide to extended households
  • Changes to outdoor restrictions
  • Reopening of schools and Early Learning Childcare Settings

Click here to access the Parent Club page

New guidance to support planning for wider reopening of ELC Services

The Scottish Government published new guidance for the safe reopening of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) services in Phase 3 of Scotland’s Routemap.

Click here to access the new guidance

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate also issued a letter to all ELC’s outlining what this guidance will mean for them.

Click here to access the letter

A CALA news roundup: 5th June 2020

Think you know neglect?

Think you know neglect?

Highland Child Protection Committee in partnership with ourselves here at CALA was delighted to launch the latest free e-learning module ‘Think you know neglect?’, which,  since launch 5 days ago has been accessed by 235 users and counting. Encouraging to see everyone working together to keep children safe as now more than ever, Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility.

Access the module at www.calaelearning.co.uk

Child Protection News Bulletin for Keeping Children Safe

Issue 8 of the Child Protection News Bulletin is published and includes important updates including a COVID-19 Statement from Highland Child Protection Committee, online safety, Health and Wellbeing information and much more. Click here to access under KCS Newsletters.

Foundation Apprenticeship: Children and Young People

We were absolutely delighted to welcome new Children and Young People Foundation Apprentices this morning albeit an online virtual session first session. Candidates have got off to a great start with some tasks set for next week to help consolidate learning from today and sessions set from now until the summer holidays.

If you would like to know more about our Foundation Apprenticeship: Social Services – Children and Young People course click here

Volunteer Scotland week

It is #VolunteersWeekScot this week and we would like to take the opportunity to thank all our 26 volunteers who work across the CALA services for their outstanding support and all that they do. THANK YOU from all at #TeamCALA

Family Information Pages

We have all had many weeks of living through the COVID-19 pandemic as safely and as positively as we can. With restrictions beginning to lift we still find ourselves faced with a lot of new information to process and new ways of living to adapt to.

To make this easier for you in some small way we continue to collate the information we hope you will find most useful in the one place, to help you and your family navigate through these unprecedented times.

 You will find a wealth of information on looking after you and your child’s mental health, tips on sleep routines, behaviour and play for children of different ages on parentclub.scot as well as the raft of information on these CALA pages.

Click here to access

Watten Wee Ones

Watten Wee Ones is a voluntary run Toddler Group supported by one of our Family Practitioners, Jules Taylor.  She has shared with us how the committee has worked together to support their families during Covid-19.  Here’s what Jules had to say:

I just wanted to share the thoughtful good practice of Watten Wee Ones in supporting children’s play and learning during lockdown.

Watten Wee Ones used to be a small group, which was poorly attended but some lovely local parents agreed to form a new committee and became a CALA member group.  This enabled them to apply for funding and gave them the freedom to implement their own ideas and encourage more families from the community to join in.  The group is now thriving and last year received funding from the local wind farm which has helped them to continue to improve, providing rich play experiences for the children and families attending.  Each week they provide a variety of activities, usually in themes that run over a course of around 4 weeks supporting children’s interests.


Because they are not able to offer their weekly activities to the families that attend during the pandemic, the very proactive Committee has come up with the idea of putting together an activity pack to send out FREE to families that wish to receive one. 

When a family opens the pack, they find a rainbow with their child’s name on it. Packs include a whole range of inviting resources to support play experiences including kits to make and assemble, crafts, playdough, paints, puppet kits and bubbles. There are also some glue dots and lollipop sticks so they can make the box into a small world scene – nothing is wasted!

The packs have been posted out to families and here are some of the responses:

“Flora was very excited to receive her craft box today! She’s already had loads of fun with it (as did her brother and sister) and still has lots left to do! Thank you so much!!”

 “Cammie loved the box and has painted everything including herself.  Thanks so much for the box it’s been great.  We are really missing the group and Cammie has turned into a grump not being able to socialise.”

 “Amazing support and contact from Water Wee Ones, it ensures that we still feel part of a group even though we are apart.  The excitement of getting the parcel to cheer us up and give a constructive activity was just the pick me up for us mums and babies indoors every day with little social interaction.  Many thanks and thank you to the volunteers cannot wait until we are together again…. stay safe – Archie.”

The committee has done a wonderful job and this pack clearly demonstrates their ongoing commitment to supporting their families and thinking of others during these strange times.  

A huge Well Done and Thumbs Up from CALA