CPL Opportunity for Practitioners working in OSC /Childminders in Highland

Introduction to Play Practice – 1-hour online session.

As part of Highland Council’s CPD staff development programme, CALA will be delivering a 1-hour online session on ‘Introduction to Play Practice’. These sessions are suited to practitioners working with children in Out of School Care, Breakfast or Holiday Clubs and childminders in Highland.

Date:

Wednesday 17th February 2021

Choice of sessions available:

  • 9.30am – 10.30am
  • 11am- 12pm
  • 1pm – 2pm
  • 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Full details and booking via  http://highland.cpdservice.net/ or contacting Highland Council CPD on 01463 702780.

 

Staying connected

Culbokie Out of School Club

Our responsive practitioners at Culbokie Fun Club shared how they had facilitated the children’s idea to show they were mindful of others by making small gifts and notes which they posted to friends so they would know they were thinking of them. This followed on from their discussions from children’s mental health week.

Several parents have been in touch with the setting to say how excited their children were to receive their gift. #SHANARRI in practice.

Click here to view

 

Family Services

CALA’s Family Practitioners continue to lead virtual Bookbug sessions, baby massage sessions and Gaelic sessions for some families across Highland.

Families who have taken part in these online sessions have said in their feedback, “online sessions are great for giving the kids something to look forward to.”  They are “not as good as the real thing but [are] the next best thing.”

 

Update from Scottish Government – Re-opening of ELC

Stated by the Scottish Government:

The First Minister today announced the Scottish Government’s intention that childcare settings can re-open to all pre-school children from 22nd February.

This is subject to continued progress in suppressing the virus and will be subject to final confirmation in two weeks’ time.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered childcare providers with more information.

You can read the letter here: https://bit.ly/3cynlWs

CALA 500

As part of CALA’s ongoing Health and Wellbeing programme, some of the CALA team have come together to participate in our very own CALA 500! Their aim was to work together to collectively collate their daily cycling, walking, running miles to see if they could complete 500 miles together between the 18th of January and 14th of February.
 
In true #TEAMCALA style, they met this target in just over a week! In order to keep the momentum going, they are now raising the bar and are going to aim for 500 miles per week!
 
Along with the benefits of getting out and about, the teams’ spirits are also being lifted by sharing of photographs of the stunning scenery from across Highland (and of course a few added extra photos of their four-legged friends!). We have shared a few photos below for you to enjoy.
 
We hope all our children, families, members and partners are finding time to get outside each day – it is amazing what even a few moments of fresh air can do for lifting the spirits!
 
Keep safe everyone.
 

Enrolment Week

Enrolment week for Early Learning and Childcare settings will take place from the 8th to 12th February 2021.

Children born between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2019 are entitled to a funded Early Learning and Childcare place.

CALA has some available spaces in our settings throughout Highland.

Click here for further details of setting locations, contact details and information about each setting.

Further information on ELC Enrolment is available from the Highland Council  – click here

Funding Support for Eligible Childminders

Scottish Government have announced funding to support childminders business sustainability. Scottish Government state:

Grants of up to £1,000 each will be made to eligible childminding providers, and work is now underway with the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) to finalise the details of the scheme. Further information on how to apply will be published shortly.

Alongside the funding, a new Childminding Action Plan has been published, setting out the Scottish Government’s vision for the sector and the actions to support it that are being taken now and into the future.

Click here to access further information.

 

Update – Scottish Government

In the latest update today, the Scottish Government announced that the current closures of ELC settings will remain in place until at least mid-February due to the COVID-19 rates remaining high.
 
Nurseries & regulated childcare providers should continue to open to key worker/vulnerable children only.
 
Childminders can continue to stay open operating in line with the latest guidance.
 
A further review will now take place on the 2nd of February 2021.
 
Read further information – CLICK HERE 
Practitioners – for latest guidance and support CLICK HERE
Parents – for advice, guidance and fun play and learning ideas CLICK HERE

Scot Gov – (COVID-19): financial support to childcare sector

The Deputy First Ministers announcement today included information on financial support for childcare providers.
 
This information applies to private and third sector childcare providers and childminders and sets out the range of business and financial support that has been made available to the childcare sector.
 
Access this and other relevant guidance on our Practitioner Portal
 
 
 

Updates from Scottish Government

Childminders

There are no changes for childminders following yesterday’s announcement from the First Minister, Childminders can continue to operate as normal under Level 4 guidance, ie to all children, not only key workers and vulnerable children.  

The FM’s statement applies only to extending supplementary guidance for daycare of children’s services including out of school care to the end of January.  We will keep you updated on this as information is shared.


Updated Guidance for Organised Activities for children

Scottish Government have issued newly updated guidance for the safe running of organised activities for children and young people during lockdown – this includes Toddler Groups. Access the guidance at https://www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk/practitioner-hub/


We recognise that in the current climate there is a need for responsive and fast-changing guidance and information and the difficulties keeping track of this can create.  We endeavour to update our website with direct links to all sector guidance/information as it is shared with us – keep checking in on the dedicated pages of our website at:

Practitioners Portal at  https://www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk/practitioner-hub/

Parent Portal at https://www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk/parent-portal/

Christmas wishes from CALA

As we come to the end of what has been a particularly challenging and unprecedented year which with last week’s news of the need for tighter restrictions – this will no doubt bring further challenges for us all.

Despite this, everyone here at CALA is incredibly heartened by the resilience, dedication, and spirit shown by our children, families, staff and partners and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and relaxing festive holiday and will look forward to working together with you all again in the New Year.

Our little video message below was created for everyone by our Foundation Apprenticeship students.

Information for CALA settings (6th – 18th January 2021)

All our CALA settings in Highland and Moray will be open from 6th January for children of keyworkers and children who will benefit from being in the setting. Children in these categories attending ELC settings and Out of School Care will follow their normal attendance pattern and your normal ELC funding entitlement will apply. Any additional hours, on top of ELC entitlement, will be charged to you as parent/carer.

The ‘Parent Portal’ on our website has been updated to share with you the current information as provided by the Scottish Government, The Highland Council and Moray Council. You will find useful links to letters to parents from both The Highland Council and Moray Council, along with further links to relevant guidance and support services you may find useful.

Click here to access

For parents/carers of children attending CALA settings in Highland & Moray, we have provided specific information regarding your childcare provision from 26 December to 18 January.

Click here to access

For practitioners working for and with children and families, including Childminders, you will find all links to current guidance and updates on our ‘Practitioner Portal’.

We will continue to monitor and update these pages with any further information.

We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for everyone and would like to thank all our families for their continued support and understanding as we try to navigate through the necessary changes to keep everyone safe.

Festive period: important new and updated information from Care Inspectorate

The following information has been provided from the Care Inspectorate via their provider update (22nd December 2020)

Letter to all registered childcare providers – for period 26 December to 18 January

 The Scottish Government have issued a letter to all registered childcare providers following the First Minister’s announcement on 19 December that further public health measures are to be put in place. Mainland Scotland will enter Level 4 from 26 December and the island authorities will enter Level 3 restrictions.  

The letter confirms the guidance which will apply from 26 December 2020 until at least 18
January 2021.


Help us keep children safe – complete a COVID-19 childcare monitoring return today

Please complete your childcare monitoring return today. The Scottish Government is collating this information, alongside local authority data, to monitor child attendance and absence from childcare services during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  

We have adapted it to account for changes in their data requirements, and now issue it to you weekly on Tuesdays.  

We ask that all local authority, private and third-sector childcare services including nurseries, out of school care and childminders complete a return each week.   

 The only exception is if you are a local authority run service in one of the following areas:

Aberdeenshire Argyll & Bute Clackmannanshire East Lothian City of Edinburgh Falkirk Midlothian Perth & Kinross Stirling West Lothian

Private, third-sector services and childminders operating in these areas should still complete one. 

 Any residential schools, school accommodation services, and independent schools who complete a ‘COVID-19 Grant-Aided & Independent Schools Monitoring Return’ do NOT need to complete this.

You only need to complete this on a Tuesday before midnight, and only information on childcare provided that day is required.


Test and Protect – contact tracing while services are closed over the festive period

It is anticipated that over the festive period some ELC services including childminders and out of school care services will close for some or all of the period. During this period it is expected that Test and Protect will require to contact services to establish close contacts of any staff member or child who is confirmed as having COVID-19.

As the Test and Protect service depends on Health Protection Teams being able to look back 48 hours from the time a positive case had symptoms in order to identify close contacts, we are requesting all registered services have an emergency contact for their service that families and staff can pass to Test and Protect during any closure period.

The service emergency contact will need to have access to attendance and staffing information for each session or day, including any information on groupings of children, and will need to provide contact details for the identified close contacts to the health protection team.

It will be particularly important for services to be able to identify close contact staff members if a staff member tests positive.

Therefore, can you please ensure that all of your parents and staff have the contact number for someone in your service who will be able to provide any information to Test and Protect that is required to help prevent the spread of infection.