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

New e-learning module – Understanding the Child’s Plan

We are pleased to announce the launch of the latest free e-learning module  ‘Understanding the Child’s Plan’  – made in partnership with HIGHLAND CHILD PROTECTION COMMITTEE.

To access the module, visit www.calaelearning.co.uk

If you have any difficulty in accessing the module, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

We hope you enjoy and find the e-module useful and informative!

Guidance for Early Learning and Childcare settings – COVID 19

The guidance for educational and Early Learning and Childcare settings has now been updated and incorporated into the following general advice for all non-healthcare settings: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/.  You will see it has some specific material for educational settings in Section 2, as well as other advice that applies more generally.

The guidance includes useful Educational resources for use in childcare and educational settings on page 12.

NHS has also provided us with a short animated video to support conversations and developing our children’s understanding of the virus – ‘Child-friendly explanation of Coronavirus (COVID-19)’

Coronavirus – Revised notification guidance

Care Inspectorate have revised their notifications guidance with immediate effect for all Early Learning and Childcare settings until further notice.

Care Inspectorate state:

“Every registered service with the Care Inspectorate must complete a notification of ‘Outbreak of Infectious Disease’ via their eForms account. Providers must notify the Care Inspectorate within 24 hours of any suspected or known case or outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19″.  

For further information on procedures and download relevant guidance and reporting formats visit:


You will also find useful links to the ‘NHS Inform’ website with key messages for procedures/information/precautionary measures etc.

An information event for childminders in Scotland

Being and becoming a funded ELC Provider

Saturday 25th April 2020

Click here to read about this free event.

For childminders who are not able to attend but would like to know more – content and any presentations from the day will be made available after the event and posted on the Knowledge Hub in a group open to all stakeholders: Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland – Discussion Forum and Documents.

If you are not already a member of the Knowledge Hub and would like to join please email: [email protected]

Advice on the coronavirus for places of education

The following is a new public health poster for COVID-19 from NHS SCOTLAND to provide advice for places of education.

This poster should be downloaded/shared on Social Media/displayed in your settings etc. Please share widely.


It is a requirement for all registered childminders and daycare of children’s services to notify the Care Inspectorate of any incidences or outbreaks of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) via the Care Inspectorate notification process 


Click here to download a copy of the poster

South Highland Outdoor Woodland Learning

An exciting free Continuous Professional Development opportunity organised by South Highland Outdoor Woodland Learning to encourage and support practitioners wishing to take learning outside more. 

Hosted by Juliet Robinson and South Highland OWL

Saturday 21st March

10am – 1pm

Nethybridge Community Centre

Find out more at: