How Good Is Our Early Learning and Childcare (HGIOLC)



The following article was submitted by Norma Ruettimann, CALA Training Development Manager:

As many of you will be aware, Education Scotland have recently launched the National Improvement Hub to support continuous improvement in our work with children and families. If you haven’t had a look yet, it’s definitely worth clicking on . You can view a range of interactive material including guidance and practice example videos and download transcripts and power point presentations to use to support self-evaluation for improvement in your setting. New items are added frequently.

We were particularly interested in the report “The Twoness of Twos’ (posted on yesterday’s blog) by Jane O’Sullivan and Sue Chambers of the London Early Years Foundation which we found especially pertinent as more two year olds become eligible for funded ELC in Scotland and we strive to improve quality to support positive outcomes. The cover quote by Jerry Seinfeld “A two year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it” will no doubt strike an only too familiar cord with those of us who have the privilege of knowing and/or working with these little treasures!

messy-kid-paintYou can also view or download the new framework for self-evaluation How Good Is Our Early Learning and Childcare (HGIOLC) which has been designed to help us ‘take a fresh look at the developing needs and reflect the changes and increased provision of today’s ELC sector’ (source HGIOELC 2016). The framework takes account of childminders, private, voluntary and local authority settings therefore is for all practitioners working with children from birth to starting school. The framework will be used by Education Scotland for ELC inspections from this month onwards.

It is important that we begin to familiarise ourselves with the 15 Quality Indicators within HGIOELC. This will support us to evaluate our strengths, identify areas for development and help us to plan improvement. HGIOELC encourages as to look ‘inwards, outwards and forwards’ – the National Improvement Hub certainly provides us with useful tools to help us do so.

– Norma Ruettimann

There are still places left on CALA’s HGIOELC training in Fort William, Thurso and Elgin. Check the following blog article for more details:

The Twoness of Twos



The following article was submitted by Norma Ruettimann, CALA Training Development Manager:

“Early Learning and Care for 2 Year Olds – University of Stirling

An interesting 3 page paper (Page 4 provides an indicative list of resources) which recognises that the extension to Early Learning and Childcare to some two year olds requires more than calculations about number of children, space and adults. Aspects include:

  • Two year olds need practitioners who..
  • Two year olds need practices that..
  • Two year olds need spaces and resources than..

It’s certainly worth a read. If you would like to comment on the paper or for further discussion contact: [email protected]

The paper can be read online by clicking here.

A Typical Day in the Life of a CALA Toddler Group Facilitator


Mairianne has sent through a video that shows what a typical day might look like for a CALA Toddler Group Facilitator. Our Toddler Group Facilitators support our members in a number of ways, including providing support with paperwork and policies, demonstrating and suggesting fun activities for groups, and delivering informative workshops.

On this particular day, Mairianne and Jayne joined the children in an arts and crafts session, sang songs, played games and prepared a healthy snack. At the end of the visit they filled out the required paperwork, which is used to help ensure our Toddler Group Facilitators continue to provide a high level of support to our members.

To watch the video, click the image below:


Summer 2016 edition of ‘Toddler Link’


The Summer 2016 edition of the ‘Toddler Link’ newsletter is here, and is packed full of interesting and informative articles. Topics include: Bookbug Week, Year of the Dad, baby sensory toys, as well as information on children’s snack time.

If you work with toddlers or have one yourself, Toddler Link is definitely worth a read. Click here to download the newsletter.

Black Isle Dads and Bairns

Jennifer Morrison has been in touch to let us know about a dad’s baby and toddler group in Dingwall. More information can be found on the flyer:


Frugal Fun Friday: More Caterpillars!

Mairianne is back with another Frugal Fun Friday! This week Mairianne shows us how a simple paper plate can be transformed in to a friendly and colourful catterpillar.