Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Programme COVID-19 update

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Programme has published a COVID-19 newsletter. This has replaced their monthly programme updates and will be published regularly for the duration of the pandemic response. 

Click here to access a copy from


Celebrating Silver Work-versary!

Our Improvement Co-ordinator Marion Laidlaw was delighted to receive chocolates, flowers and certificate to mark an amazing 25 years service today. Always ready with a listening ear, a wealth of knowledge, experience, and solution-focused helpful suggestions,  Marion has been a wonderful asset to our organisation over her many years of service in a variety of roles.

Warmest congratulations and heartfelt thanks for all that you have done and continue to do Marion, from everyone at CALA past and present.

Further updated information from Scottish Government

Information site from the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government have developed a web page dedicated to hosting guidance and information to help us access it easily and ensure we have the latest version. The suite of documents includes:

  • Parent factsheet about closures
  • Provider factsheet about closures
  • Business support factsheet
  • Childminders support.

Click here to access

Information for Childminders

Scottish Government has put together a webpage for CHILDMINDERS which has information about the range of business and financial support.

Check it out

Click here to access

Reminder – Guidance from the Scottish Government: social distancing in education and childcare settings 

The Scottish Government has published guidance for organisations and their staff working in local authority, private and third sector education and childcare settings that are providing care to vulnerable children and children of key workers.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social distancing in education and childcare settings

News round up

New guidance from the Scottish Government for early learning and childcare services

The Scottish Government has issued updated guidance: 

Information for parents about daycare of children service closures – Click here 
(last updated 27 March 2020)

Information for childminders about business and financial support  – Click here
(last updated 27 March 2020).

The following guidance has also been updated: 

Information for private, third sector and childminding providers about closures and emergency childcare  –    Click here                                                               

Information for private and third sector childcare providers about business support  – Click here
(both documents last updated 25 March 2020).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees

ACAS – Helpful advice, guidance and legislation explained – Click here

Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Helpful guidance from UK Government (29th March 2020) about the possible impact social distancing can have on our mental health and coping strategies. Click here

Reminder: Scottish Government monitoring uptake and provision of childcare places

The Scottish Government continues to monitor the uptake and provision of places in early learning and childcare settings and providers who have services open for children of key workers should complete the online form each day.  This includes private and third-sector all-day childcare services including nurseries, out of school care and childminders (not local authority settings).

For settings that are closed, you are required submit the survey once, however, If your setting becomes operational again, please complete this on a daily basis before 15:00.

You can access the survey here

NHS Inform guidance in alternative formats and languages

You can access a variety of translated COVID- 19 guidance and information posters and leaflets from NHS Inform in a variety of different languages and easy-read format. 

Click here to access


Updates from SSSC COVID 19


The Scottish Social Services Council has shared the following information in their recent newsletter



Changes to the law to support social services:

The UK and Scottish coronavirus legislation include some important changes for social service regulation so we can support the workforce to keep on delivering high-quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Fitness to practise changes during COVID-19 

To help focus resources on supporting the social service sector during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we’re making changes to fitness to practise. We’re making changes in the following areas:


Guidance for employers on core training for redeployed workers, temporary workers and volunteers 

With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the country, it will be necessary for health and social care staff to be deployed to work in frontline care services they may be unfamiliar with. Temporary workers and volunteers are also being recruited to support services.


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Read the latest information for social service workers and employers and what we are doing to help in our role as a regulator.
(last update 17 March 2020). 


Monitoring uptake and provision of childcare places – Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is asking each childcare provider that is NOT a local authority setting to complete this short online form from THURSDAY 26TH MARCH by 3.00 pm each day until further notice.

This includes private and third-sector childcare services including nurseries, out of school care and childminders. Information in relation to local authority settings will be gathered on a separate survey.

Childcare providers in the voluntary and private sectors and childminders are asked to provide information on:  

  • whether they are open or closed
  • the number of ELC practitioners working in the setting
  • the number of children attending (including those classed as “vulnerable”, those of key workers, and those attending solely for the purposes of taking a meal).

This form is designed to provide Scottish Ministers with regular and timely information in relation to COVID-19

Click here to access the form

Temporary Childcare for Essential Workers

The Highland Council has set up a process for KEY WORKERS to apply for childcare if they have no other provision or support.

The form MUST be completed by 9am on MONDAY 23rd MARCH


Click here to access details about key workers and the application form  

Information on closures of ELC Premises

Scottish Government has provided further guidance providing further clarity on the closures of childcare provision due to the current COVID 19 situation.

There is information/guidance for private and third sector providers about closures and emergency childcare.  This applies to providers of childcare who are registered with the Care Inspectorate,
including after-school services, holiday provision and breakfast clubs. A separate
factsheet for childminders will be available soon.

Please click here to access the guidance.

There is also information for parents on the closure of the daycare of children services.

Click here to access information for parents

We would encourage you to share this information with all relevant parties (especially parents) through your various media/information platforms.

Our office is open for enquiries or support as usual by telephone, email or online via our social media.

 We will endeavour to keep you updated with information as soon as we receive it.

We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and understanding.

Updated information about ‘Key Workers’ from Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has provided further guidance on ‘What is meant by a key worker’. They state:

“Local authorities should put in place provision to ensure that children of key workers, for example, NHS and social care staff, have continuing access to appropriate learning and childcare that allows their parents/carers to participate in the national response to COVID-19. There should be a presumption that, if parents can make their own childcare arrangements within the community, they should do so. If one parent is a key worker and the other is not, the non-key worker should normally be expected to provide childcare.

A definition of key workers is provided here. There should be a particular focus on:

Key workers in posts which ensure that essential services can be delivered and cover tasks within the local community which support the vulnerable and aid community resilience. This may be slightly different in each community to allow the country to address local priorities. Whilst decisions will be taken at the local level, we would expect this to include consideration of:

Category 1 – Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response, and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life-threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as a top priority already); staff providing childcare/learning for other category 1 staff.

Category 2 – All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (e.g Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, etc), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.

Category 3 –  All workers without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID – 19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised).

Local authorities should be guided by this definition and prioritise the provision of arrangements accordingly. They should consider any circumstances that mean that specific classes of worker are critical in their local contexts”.

Useful Information

Care Inspectorate – Update on the closure of schools and early learning and childcare settings

The Deputy First Minister has issued a letter with an update on the closure of schools and early learning and childcare settings. You can read the letter here

Remote Learning: Ideas and activities for parents and teachers

Some ideas from the Highland Numeracy Blog – Early Level to Second Level.

Care Inspectorate – COVID 19 frequently asked questions

Care Inspectorate has captured some of the most frequent questions that they receive regarding COVID 19 and shared some of the advice that you may find useful for supporting families.

Downloadable poster – Coping with stress during the 2019-nCov outbreak form the World Health Organisation

CALA – Updates to office hours