Membership draft

  • Become a CALA member

Becoming a CALA Member

We’re delighted you’re interested in CALA membership. You’ll find everything you need to know about membership on this page. Please call the Inverness office on 01463 222569 if we can help in any way.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of CALA Membership?

Please note that membership benefits vary depending on your membership type. To see which benefits apply to each membership type, please download our membership benefits table [PDF].

Direct Support

Through its network of childhood practice and administrative professionals, CALA can provide direct group support by phone, email, or face to face. The CALA Gateway scheme offers employment guidance and comprehensive targeted support which is aimed at assisting committees/employers to re-examine working practices and help them to take steps to meet the additional pressures arising from management, financial and employment responsibilities. Find out more here.

  • Termly Gateway Link newsletter providing up to date employment advice.
  • Process and countersign PVG applications. Subsequent storage and disposal of certifications and identification.
  • Gaining access to a network of CALA Members (e.g. nurseries, daycare, schools, childminders, other Third Sector Organisations) with a wide range of experience in Early Years Learning and Childcare.
  • Representing the views and interests of CALA members locally and nationally (by going to national and local meetings we are representing and advocating for our members’ interests).
  • Extensive Child Protection guidance and specialist support from CALA’s Child Protection designated officers.


  • Competitive rates for local training deliveries tailored to your needs (can be delivered in associate school group areas).
  • Access to CALA member training events & forums (often free for members).
  • Up to 3 free vouchers for one of CALA’s E-Learning modules.


  • Advertise vacancies online.
  • Submit articles for CALA’s blog, demonstrating best industry practice as well as upcoming events.
  • Provide content for CALA’s social media accounts such as local events, to encourage online engagement with parents, carers, practitioners and the local community.

Members Zone Access

  • Includes access to early learning and childcare policies, procedures and templates, as well as committee information and employment matters.


  • Payroll services & pension support.
  • Support to access start-up grants – for new toddler, Early Years and Out of School groups, CALA can provide advice, information and possibly some financial help with your startup plans.


  • CALA has negotiated a comprehensive childcare insurance package with Albany Childcare Insurance; a Scottish based company specialising in childcare insurance. They offer a range of competitive and comprehensive insurance packages for childminders, parent and toddler groups as well as nurseries (private sector as well as partner centre) and out of school clubs.
  • To learn more about Albany Childcare Insurance, please visit their website, or telephone them on

2. What are the different types of CALA membership, and what is the price for each?

CALA membership runs from 1st April to 31st March each year and is open to:

  • Early Learning and Childcare Centre – from £40
  • Out of School Club – £40
  • Baby and Toddler Group – £30
  • Childminder – £30
  • Individual – £20
  • Friend of CALA – £10

Please note that not all of the benefits of membership are available to every membership level. For a breakdown of which benefits apply to each level, please download our membership benefits spreadsheet. 

3. Will my group receive voting rights at the CALA AGM?

We offer 2 types of CALA membership; full and associate. Only full members have voting rights under the CALA Constitution and are entitled to one vote per member at the AGM and any other appropriate meetings.

Full CALA membership is granted to groups who:

  • Have adopted an appropriate constitution (sample copy available from CALA)
  • Have been granted charitable status by the Office of the Scottish Charity Register (OSCR)
  • Are registered with the appropriate authorities in respect of the services/facilities which they provide, where applicable.
  • Operate within the code of practice/quality assurance prescribed by the company at the time in relation to the type of service/facility which they provide.
  • Ensure all staff undergo appropriate training and development. (Please contact the Inverness office for more information).
  • Operate within and meet relevant approved external standards, e.g. SSSC; Care Standards, etc.

Full Member Groups include:

  • Partner Centres: Any Centres which are funded by local government to provide early learning and childcare, which have charitable status.
  • Out of School or ‘wrap around’ care: Care groups which provide care either before or after school/nursery hours, which have charitable status.
  • Joint Partner Centre/Out of School Club: Any partner centre which in addition to early learning and childcare, also offering childcare either before or after school times, which have charitable status.
  • Baby & Toddler Group: any group which provides opportunities for children and parents to socialise in an informal and friendly setting.
  • Baby & Toddler/Early Learning and Childcare Group: any group which provides opportunities for children and parents to socialise in an informal and friendly setting and also provide early learning and childcare, which have charitable status.

Associate CALA Membership is available to groups that do not meet the criteria for full membership:

  • Private Day Care Settings: Any day care setting which operates on a for-profit basis.
  • Childminders: Any individual(s) providing paid-for care from their place of residence
  • Friends of CALA: Individuals working or interested in Early Learning and Childcare whom wish to join CALAs membership but do not come under any other category.
  • Third Sector Organisation: Any voluntary or charitable sector organisations that operates in a non-governmental or not-for-profit method that does not fit any other categories.
  • Private Sector Organisation: Any for-profit or privately owned organisation which does not meet the criteria of any other grouping.
  • Schools/Statutory Sector Educational Establishments: Any school or organisation from the public sector with a focus on education or the wellbeing of children.

4. Do you support Childminders?

Yes! CALA Childminder members can benefit from:

  • Access to CALA’s Childminder Coordinator who can:
  • Guide you through the Care Inspectorate registration process
  • Link with partners such as the Care Inspectorate and the Highland Council to discuss childminder training needs
  • Provide business support – advice about finance, grants and other matters
  • Answer any general queries and concerns
  • A competitive insurance package
  • Local, relevant (and mostly free!) training events
  • CALA’s online presence – CALA blog for information sharing, website, Twitter & Facebook
  • Local presence and contact with childcare, finance and admin team
  • Child protection information and specialist support from Child Protection designated officers
  • Highland & Moray based knowledge and procedures in place
  • The possibility of joining a network/ community of fellow childminders to share news, concerns or ideas
  • As a CALA Childminder Member, you will also be able to download a wide selection of specifically tailored templates and documents including appropriate policies.

Please note: a few of the documents are available only once relevant training has been undertaken.

Here’s some recent feedback we received from one of our childminder members:
“I would highly recommend CALA. Such a helpful organisation and they have offered me and other Childminder’s lots of information and free courses.”

5. What are the Terms and Conditions?

1. By becoming a member of the Care and Learning Alliance (CALA) you agree to the aims of the company.

2. Full members of CALA will be entitled to vote at the company’s AGM and other membership meetings as appropriate.

3. CALA reserves the right to refuse or terminate membership at the company’s discretion. You have a right to appeal this decision in line with the company’s policies and procedures.

4. CALA reserves the right to update or change services as appropriate.

5. By joining CALA members agree to provide current and accurate information to the company. If any information is found to be deliberately misleading membership may be suspended or terminated.

6. CALA members have a responsibility to inform CALA about any changes to contact information or circumstances which may affect their membership.

7. Although CALA has negotiated a comprehensive, childcare insurance package for its members you are under no obligation to take out insurance with Albany Childcare Insurance in order to have CALA membership. Other Insurers offer alternative cover which may also suit your needs. It is the member’s responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate and current insurance which meets their individual circumstances and that they notify their insurer direct about any changes to circumstances which may affect their cover.

8. Payment for CALA membership is due within 30 days of membership renewal or initial membership, after which period membership benefits may be suspended. Unless you contact CALA to discuss this further, membership will be terminated after a period of 90 days non-payment.

9. By taking out CALA membership you agree to receive the CALA Blog and other CALA correspondence that may be relevant for you. You may unsubscribe from either at any time by clicking on the link within the relevant email or by contacting the CALA office.


Access to and use of our website and other services provided by CALA is on the following terms and, by using the website, you agree to be bound by these terms and our privacy policy, which shall take effect immediately on your first use of the website.

If you do not agree to be bound by all of the following terms please do not access, use and/or contribute to the website. You may wish to regularly check CALA Terms and Conditions as they may change from time to time.


1. Bookings and cancellations – in the event of adverse weather or low numbers of bookings we reserve the right to cancel events at short notice. We will use your booking contact details to inform you of a cancellation. Where possible we will re-schedule the event but will offer a full refund (where you have paid for training) if this is not appropriate.

2. Cancellation by attendees – please telephone or email the course provider as soon as possible and at least 24 hours prior to the course to let them know if you cannot attend.

3. Payments for training – where required you should pay for your course at least 3 days in advance of the event date by Worldpay, Stripe or cheque as appropriate. Refunds policy – only under exceptional circumstances will payments be refunded.

4. CALA Online learning modules are offered to the general public at the advertised rate. CALA members may be entitled to reductions in charges per module or to free training. Only specific categories of membership may entitle the user to these benefits and these may be withdrawn at any time.

5. CALA seeks to ensure that all information provided either on the website, via training modules or courses is accurate, helpful and current. The information provided does not constitute legal or professional advice and we cannot accept any liability for actions or consequences arising from its use.

6. CALA cannot be held responsible for information provided by third parties; either provided on the site or accessed via links from the site. The inclusion of links to other sites or parties does not constitute an endorsement from Care and Learning Alliance.


1. By submitting articles for publication on the CALA Blog you are agreeing to the public sharing of your information on the website. Items are subject to editing and publication at the discretion of the CALA team. Some articles may not be published due to volume of items or if deemed inappropriate.

2. In submitting items for posting it is your responsibility to ensure that all permissions, copyright and data protection laws are adhered to and that no illegal material is included.

3. Blogs will normally be posted for a maximum period of 15 months after which time they will be archived. Images are not retained beyond this period.

4. Views or comments expressed within the Blog are the views of the individual and do not represent CALA.

5. CALA does not include children’s names within web entries and goes to considerable lengths to ensure that appropriate permissions are always in place.

6. In order to participate and contribute to certain parts of our website e.g. the Members’ Zone or Blog, you may be required to register your details. Any personal information supplied as part of this registration process and or any other interaction will be collected, stored and used in accordance with our privacy policy.

7. All contributors to the website or blog should conduct themselves in a professional and appropriate manner ensuring that objectionable behaviours such as racism, bullying or other forms of harassment are avoided.


1. In accessing CALA online materials we take no responsibility for the smooth, uninterrupted, error-free running of any systems. However, if you come across any system related issues please inform CALA as soon as possible and we will endeavour to rectify these promptly.

2. It is the responsibly of the web-user to ensure they take necessary measures to ensure internet security and protection from viruses, etc.

3. All material contained on the CALA website, Members’ Zone and the E-Learning Zone, unless otherwise noted, is copyrighted and constitutes the intellectual property of CALA. You are not permitted to copy, adapt or use our information for any purposes, non-commercial or commercial, without receiving prior written consent.

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