National guidance for child protection – revised: consultation

The Scottish Government is currently seeking your views on the revised ‘National Guidance for Child Protection’.

Scottish Government state:

“The aim of the consultation is to seek views on the tone, level of detail and approach in the revised guidance, in particular in relation to the description of new or significant aspects, and whether there are any omissions or aspects that have not been adequately addressed”.

The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland describes the responsibilities and expectations of everyone who works with children, young people and their families in Scotland. It sets out how agencies should work together with children, young people, parents, families and communities to protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Click here to access the DRAFT National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2020

Click here to access the Consultation Guidance

Click here to locate and download the Consultation Questionnaire and Respondent Information Form

The safe operation of daycare of children settings during Covid-19

The safe operation of daycare of children settings during Covid-19

Scottish Government are hosting a webinar on the safe operation of daycare of children settings during Covid-19

Care Inspectorates ‘updates to providers’ on the 25/11/20 states:

This webinar will provide an opportunity for heads of centres and managers to come together virtually and hear from the Care Inspectorate, Public Health Scotland and ADES on key issues relating to safe operation during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, informed by feedback the Scottish Government has gathered from the sector on areas of particular interest/concern.

To book your place click here.

CALA’s Book Week Celebrations

CALA Family Services have loved celebrating Book Week Scotland, from 16th to 20th November. With most community toddler groups unable to meet in our current circumstances, it was a project that aimed to reconnect our families and facilitate an opportunity for all ages to come together to celebrate storytelling, books and rhymes.

In September we invited young families to tell their stories of windy days by drawing or taking photos and submitting them to be a part of a new book.  This book also contained a new rhyming story, written especially for this project, about Puff.  The story tells of the adventures of Puff – a tiny wee breeze who travels across the Highlands, and visits each Toddler Group community.  Puff was painted onto stones, which practitioners then hid in these communities, encouraging families to go on a Puff Hunt and find her themselves.  Photos were shared on group social media pages of successful finds and submitted onto the CALA website prior to Book Week.  In addition, 200 party bags were delivered to families from Toddler groups, with activities, songs and rhymes relating to Puff and windy days.  All these resources were also available to download in order to give wider access.

Our celebrations for Book Week itself included daily activity videos exemplifying some of these activities and culminated in a virtual Pyjama Party, in which we were honoured to welcome local author Merryn Glover.  Among the songs, rhymes and games, Merryn encouraged us all to be storytellers, by telling stories based on our everyday activities.  Merryn also read the story A Tiny Wee Puff and we heard families’ stories of A Time we met Puff.

A variety of individual families, toddler groups, playgroups and nurseries took part in the Puff Hunt, activity videos in Book Week and the Pyjama Party itself.  One mum said her son, “absolutely loved his wee pyjama party… it was so lovely having something so positive to do with him all week.” Another stated “I couldn’t believe how engaged [he] was with the whole thing.  He loved the songs and the story.  It was lovely to watch it together.” Noah’s Ark Tots in Inverness arranged their very own Puff Hunt in their outdoor area and made their own kites to see where Puff would take them.  Meanwhile, Toybox in Gairloch made flags and watched them flutter and the ELC at Milton Primary School also participated with a Puff Hunt, using Puff Bingo, the crafts and roleplaying their own Pyjama Party and sleepovers in their setting.

CALA are grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for the funding given to facilitate this project and to Merryn Glover for her collaboration.  We also thank all the families who shared their stories through their pictures. 

Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust – the national charity changing lives through reading and writing and delivered events and activities across the country during Book Week Scotland 2020, which ran from 16 November to 22 November, linked to this year’s theme of Future. Now in its ninth year, Book Week Scotland was initiated by the Scottish Government. Hundreds of free events happened during Book Week Scotland across many different local authorities, funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, public events could not be held, however, there were many community based and digital events to join in across Scotland.

As another Book Week closes we recognise that stories are amazing -they can make us feel anything and take us anywhere in the world! Keep telling your stories in any way you can. Words, photos, artwork, music, movement… Pick your favourite and tell your story! We cannot wait to hear them!

We truly value your feedback and would like to be able to report back to our funders, Scottish Book Trust on how you found our activities. We would be grateful if you could complete our online evaluation and Scottish Book Trust’s at

Important Information for Services from Care Inspectorate

The care inspectorate is making changes to the way you receive your PROVIDER UPDATES. You are required to click on the link below to select which update version you wish to receive and update your account.

The Care Inspectorate state:

We are tailoring the content you receive.

We carried out a Provider Update reader survey in July 2020 to help us get Provider Updates right for you. Based on what you said we are transitioning into three new editions of the Provider Update: 

  • Provider Updates for adult/older people services 
  • Provider Updates for early learning/out of school/children and young people services
  • Provider Updates for childminders 

We will be switching to the new editions of the Provider Update from 10th December 2020. 

Subscribers who receive the Provider Update 

Subscribers to the Provider Update must now choose which of the three editions they now want to receive going forward. You may choose to receive all three editions if you wish or any combination of the three. 

We will continue to issue reminders to subscribers to update their subscription topics as we will be switching entirely to the new editions of the Provider Update from 10 December 2020. 

Your subscription topics can be chosen by logging into your subscription account here and clicking ‘Add subscriptions’ which sits just under the ‘Submit’ and ‘Cancel’ buttons.


World Kindness Day – TRACC

Practitioners in our settings have been encouraging children’s awareness of their health and wellbeing since returning to settings following closure during the pandemic. 

As this is Kindness week, the practitioners at TRACC Out of School Club suggested the children might consider kindness and wellbeing and make an individual pledge showing what kindness might look like. Initially, the children’s ideas of a pledge benefitted themselves.  So they had further discussion and also asked for CALA staff to share their ideas of their pledges to be kind to others.  12 members of staff replied including our CE, Jaci Douglas who said: ‘I always wave at the local care home residents whenever I walk by with my dog as they sit at their windows and just lookout.  They always wave back with a big smile – although it also benefits me as it makes me smile too’.  One of the children then decided her pledge would be to ‘say kind words’.  

Watten Early Learning and Childcare – Eco School

The children, families and practitioners of Watten Early Learning and Childcare are working towards renewing their ECO Schools Green Flag – here is a little update from them on some of the things they have been doing (please click to fully open the post to view their fabulous photographs)

At Watten ELC we have been busy working towards renewing our Eco-Schools Green Flag. Our two biggest topics have been Litter and Waste Minimisation.

We carried out several litter picks including one at Dunnet Beach where we learned about the harm plastic can cause to sea life. Linking with the local primary school we began collecting crisp packets and bottle tops for recycling.

Our Eco-Committee decided to make “Eco-Bricks” using plastic bottles and plastic which could not be recycled locally.  Over several months staff, children, and parents helped to collect plastic and make the bricks. Children were working out how to get the plastic into the bottles and using scissors to cut up the larger pieces of plastic. Some children even carried on making Eco-Bricks whilst at home during the lockdown.

Children were weighing, sorting, and counting the Eco-Bricks and we have now made over 100 and recycled approx. 30 kilograms of plastic. Our next step is to use the Eco-Bricks to make a planter for our garden.

Children also created a litter policy for our centre in the form of a mind-map and helped to make an anti-litter sign for displaying at the Loch Watten picnic area.

Doing this project has given children a better understanding of how we can all reduce, re-use and recycle as well as a sense of achievement knowing that they are bringing about positive changes to their local community and the wider environment.


Equal Protection

On Saturday 7th November 2020, The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 (Equal Protection Act) became the law in Scotland.

This change in the law will apply to acts of physical punishment or physical discipline carried out after 7 November 2020. 

Information from Equal Protection states:

“The purpose of the legislation is to assist in ending the physical punishment of children by parents, carers or the person who has charge of them. It removes the statutory defence of ‘justifiable assault’ under Section 51 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.

It is important to emphasise that the change in the law does not change well established local and national Child Protection procedures. Those procedures will continue to be instigated as and when required by our officers, in accordance with Police Scotland’s policy”.

Police Scotland have produced information and resources to raise people’s awareness of the legislation and their role in supporting it.

There are two resource packs:

  • Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2020 – resources for children and young people
  • Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2020 – resources for adults

Quick and easy access to both these resources and further information are available from our Practitioner Portal on our website. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS 

CALA information roundup

‘Baby and Toddler Groups Online (title) 

The Family Services Team are excited to announce that they can deliver sessions online for groups of our Baby Toddler Group families.

We can deliver Book Bug, Baby/child massage, PEEP, Play@Home and many other activities such as songs/rhymes and storytelling sessions.

If your Baby and Toddler Group would like to participate in some fun online interactive sessions, please get in contact with your local Family Practitioner or contact our CALA Office via:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01463 222569

Updated COVID 19 Guidance

On Friday 30th October there were further changes and updates to guidance such as:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare (ELC) services
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): childminder services guidance
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): school-aged childcare services

To make sure we support you to access the guidance, updated information and support resources as quickly and as easy as possible, we have put these and much more all on our PRACTITIONER PORTAL.

Click here to access

COVID-19 education recovery

This resource from Education Scotland provides a single point of access to guidance and support for COVID-19 recovery. It includes key advice from the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG), and from sources approved by CERG.

It will be updated weekly until further notice. Where there are revised versions of earlier publications, these revisions will be highlighted

Click here to access

Fledglink APP

The new Fledglink app (endorsed by DWP Job help website) aimed at young people, has just been launched and is available now!

This is an attractive way of bringing free employability support to young people from their smartphone, offering guidance on building a digital CV, connections with other motivated young people, explore new career opportunities and get free in-depth professional and life skills workshops.

Visit the website here for further information. The app is free and available to download on iOS and Android.

Outdoor Play and Learning Improvement Practicum

Outdoor Play and Learning Improvement Practicum

The Scottish Government is hosting an online National Conversation event to explore how quality improvement methodology can accelerate quality and access to outdoor learning in ELC settings. 

To join or find out more about the event email [email protected] 

(Information provided by Care Inspectorate Provider Update)

Coming soon: Pyjama Party Project

CALA Family Services and Toddler Groups coming together to create stories, play, learn and have fun. Culminating in a virtual pyjama party to celebrate Scottish Book Trust – Book Week Scotland.

Each day from the 16th November we will be sharing stories, fun ideas and videos for you and your child/ren to share. We then invite you to join us on Friday 20th November at 6pm for our grand finale Pyjama Party Video.

Bookbug is excited about our upcoming Pyjama Party and launch of our new story called ‘A Tiny Wee Puff’. He has painted lots of stones with pictures of ‘Wee Puff’ on them and left them at various places all around the Highlands for you to find. Watch the video below to find out more.

Further information about these upcoming events and links to join us can be found on our website. CLICK HERE