Junior World Update

The ongoing commitment to providing a natural habitat for nature and the children’s sustained interest in gardening continues to provide a range of exciting learning experiences for children of all ages. The children have had the opportunity to watch things grow and try our grown vegetables & salads. Our wildflower gardens have brought an abundance of colour and beasties for the children to investigate and explore.

Blytheswood Foodbank Collection

Thank you to everyone for your food bank donations. We were delighted to deliver the centres contributions this month. 


Finally following our recent success in an Eco-Schools Prize Draw and the addition of your successful fundraising the children are thoroughly enjoying a range of natural resources purchased from Muddy Faces.

Highland Child Protection Committee – Safeguarding Self-Evaluation Tools

The Highland Child Protection Committee has made available a number of safeguarding self-evaluation tools.

You can download them from the HCPC website

Watch our promotional video to learn more about the self-evaluation tools. 

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that organisations take to protect children and vulnerable or protected adults (vulnerable beneficiaries) from harm including emotional, physical, sexual, neglect or financial harm. Charities working with vulnerable beneficiaries must do all they can to keep them safe and protected from harm ensuring appropriate policies, practices and procedures are in place and adhered to.

Lochinver ELC’s KIMO Journey

Select the image to play the children’s video!

The children at Lochinver ELC have recently been in the news and have put together a video to share with us how their work finally influenced their local harbour to join others in helping to reduce marine litter.

Below is part of the press release which gives a little bit of background. You can read the full press release by clicking here [.doc]

“A pre-school in Lochinver has successfully lobbied to get its local harbour to join KIMO’s Fishing For Litter project which makes this harbour the 20th in Scotland. The children made a sign and sent it to KIMO via Twitter to raise the profile of their campaign.”

“KIMO’s Fishing For Litter project works with the fishing industry to reduce marine litter and the children at Lochinver Early Learning Centre started a campaign almost two and a half years ago by asking the local harbour to join the initiative. As part of their Eco-Schools work, they completed a survey of fishing boats using Kinlochbervie, Ullapool and Lochinver harbours and found Lochinver was the only one not in the scheme.”

“Visits to the harbour and pressure on local Councillors seemed to falter for various reasons. Jaci Douglas, Care and Learning Alliance (CALA’s) Chief Executive sent a tweet and photo to KIMO and this has successfully reignited the process. The primary funding is coming from Tesco who had recently approached KIMO looking to fund and recruit a new Fishing For Litter harbour in Scotland.”

Upcoming training: Nurturing Development through Music and Movement

Would you like to know more about how you can develop children’s creativity, confidence and self-esteem through music and movement? Then don’t miss this interactive learning session for those working with 0-8 year old children.

Locations and dates

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, Kintail House, Inverness 6.30 – 9 pm 
Thursday, 12th September 2019, West Highland College, Fort William 6.30 – 9 pm 
Wednesday, 18th September 2019, Weigh Inn, Thurso 6.30 – 9 pm 
Thursday, 19th September 2019, Community Centre, Elgin, 6.30 – 9 pm

Booking information

Book online by visiting https://careandlearning.typeform.com/to/H1H9nNnN

or telephone Rebecca on 01349 866749.

Bookbug’s Big Picnic

BookBug, Debbie and I took our painting kits, Song Band and Storybook along to our Lybster and Miller Family Centre peep Groups, where everyone took part in our fun-filled joint session for “Bookbug’s Big Picnic peep Adventure”.

We Set out the paints, brushes, boxes and paper, and let the children be creative, giving them the opportunity to express themselves and explore the endless fun they could have with just their imagination. Both parents and children had immense fun just by simply interacting whilst having FUN.

ORIM and mark making were the themes for our big picnic.

For snack, the children enjoyed Bookbug’s Big Picnic – which included sandwiches and lots of other yummy, healthy snacks.

We read “Peep Paints his Room” – our families had fantastic fun with the song band, especially when singing “ Tiny Tim” and pulling it sooooo tightly and only letting go when his bubble finally popped.

We finished off with lots of stomping about and singing lots more action songs.

We are now taking bookings for the 2019 CALA Conference

We are delighted to announce we are now taking bookings for the 2019 CALA Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Childcare Heroes: Inspiring practitioners and the impact they have on children, families and communities‘.

If you’ve already read enough, and you’re ready to book, please visit https://careandlearning.typeform.com/to/D4djlP to register your place.


We have updated the pricing for the 2019 conference – tickets are now more affordable than ever. 

  • For CALA members, the price is just £5.
  • Non-members are very welcome to attend, at a cost of £10.

The Theme

This year’s conference will focus on the incredible work carried out by Early Learning and Childcare practitioners. ELC professionals play a vital role in children’s early development, and that’s why we decided to dedicate our 2019 conference to celebrating the incredible work they do every day. 

We will delve into the question of ‘what makes a good childcare practitioner?’, as well as exploring the impact that a skilled practitioner can have on a child’s development.

Our Speakers

As always, we have a number of fantastic speakers lined up. We will release more information in time, but we are confident you will come away from the conference feeling energised, inspired and full of new ideas.

How to Book

Booking your place at our upcoming conference couldn’t be easier. You can either: 

Fill out our simple online form: https://careandlearning.typeform.com/to/D4djlP. Please note if you are booking for multiple people, you will have to fill out the form separately for each person.

Or you can telephone 01463 222569 and one of our office staff will take your booking. 


There are three ways you can pay:

  • The easiest way to pay is online using a debit or credit card. Payment is taken securely using Stripe. 
  • We also accept cheques.
  • Or you can pay over the telephone using a credit or debit card by ringing 01463 222569. 

Key Conference Details

  • Date: October 3rd, 2019. 
  • Time: If you wish to attend our AGM, please arrive for 08:45. For everyone else, registration begins at 09:30. The conference will run until about 1.30 pm.
  • Address: Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church, Wellside Rd, Balloch, Inverness IV2 7GS. 

We hope to see you there! 

Scotland’s first statement on transitions published

The following update comes courtesy of Early Years Scotland

Scotland’s first National Position Statement on Transitions has been published. 

Early Years Scotland was one of several key organisations involved in developing and preparing the statement, and Chief Executive, Jean Carwood-Edwards, a contributing author.

The statement highlights the importance of planning for and managing transitions, mainly into school from Early Learning and Childcare, effectively and positively. 

It emphasises that transitions should be regarded as a tremendous opportunity as opposed to being something difficult that children have to get through, and that the whole family be involved in transition activity as parents and families go through the transition as well as the child. 

The statement, which lists six key principles and makes eight recommendations, can be downloaded here.

Upcoming outdoor nursery open days, taking place at Highland Wildlife Park

Care and Learning Alliance, working in partnership with RZSS Highland Wildlife Park and Inspiring Scotland, are pleased to announce two upcoming outdoor nursery open days.


  • Saturday 29th June at 11 am – 3 pm, and
  • Sunday 18th August at 11 am – 3 pm


Wildlife Garden, RZS Highland Wildlife Park. [Link to Map]

There will be a range of fun outdoor activities. These may include pond dipping, den building, minibeast hunting, and more.

We hope to see you there!

Children’s hydration campaign – Think2DrinkH2O

The following information comes from the ‘Think2Drink H2O Campaign’, promoted by NHS Scotland: 

“Think2DrinkH20 promotes the importance of hydration related to children and young people. Getting the right amount of water can make a difference to the way we all feel, think and function and it is vital that children drink enough fluid to maintain good health.”

“Children can become dehydrated by not drinking enough fluids or by losing fluids and not replacing them. Poor hydration may result in lack of concentration, headaches, dizziness, constipation and urinary tract infection.”

“Adults play a key role in ensuring that children and young people drink enough of the right type of fluids. By setting an example, they can encourage children and young people to make the right hydration choices.”

Downloadable Resources

Introducing CALA’s Interactive Committee Induction Pack

Care and Learning Alliance are pleased to offer an interactive induction pack to our committee-run group members. The induction pack is intended to help new members of the committee to understand their role as charity trustees and to be informed as effective committee members. 

The presentation features short videos and interactive features, making it a fun and easy way to learn about committees. 

The presentation is hosted on the CALA Members’ Zone. To find out more about becoming a CALA member, either visit https://www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk/membership/ or telephone our Inverness office on 01463 222569.

Early learning and childcare – National induction resource

The Scottish Government have published the ‘National Induction Resource for ELC’  A comprehensive tool to support robust induction for new starts in ELC as we progress with 1140 hours expansion. 

Download the resource from  http://learningzone.workforcesolutions.sssc.uk.com/course/view.php?id=98

Looking back at Volunteers’ Week Scotland

Scottish Volunteers’ Week took place last week, from the 1st to the 7th of June. It was a chance for organisations across Scotland to celebrate the fantastic contribution that volunteers make to society. 

At CALA, we have been lucky to have had some wonderful volunteers over the years – people who give up their free time because they want to make a difference.

Pictured above are Aga (left), Shona (right), two of our Family Support volunteers, along with Sadie (middle), CALA’s Family Support Manager.

We also took time last week to say thank you to our fantastic Board of Directors who give up their time to support and guide CALA and we are so grateful for their energy, expertise and enthusiasm.

It wasn’t just CALA that took time last week to celebrate volunteers – organisations across Scotland were getting involved and helping to spread the message that volunteering is a worthwhile, rewarding, and fun thing to do. 

Here are some highlights from Twitter: 

If you’re interested in volunteering at Care and Learning Alliance, please contact our Inverness office on 01463 222569.