Open University free online course ‘Identifying and responding to additional support needs in early learning and childcare’

The Open University are running a free online 12 hour course on additional support for learning in the early years, that the they have produced on behalf of the Scottish Government. This course for Scottish practitioners is about building confidence in identifying and responding to additional support needs of children.

The course runs over six weeks and includes a free live 1.5 hour webinar with a speech and language therapist including the chance to reflect on the impact of Covid on our practice and young children. You can work flexibly at your own pace. 

Whatever your level of experience and knowledge and whatever early learning and childcare setting you work in, you will find content in the module that will help you to reflect and develop your understanding of what you can do to get it right for every child in Scotland.

Study at your own pace and gain a digital badge to record in your Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Post Registration Training and Learning.

The next course is open to join now with a webinar on Monday 17 January, 7pm. 

Join the course here:

You will need to register for an account with OpenLearn Create or login with your existing OU account by clicking the ‘Sign up/Sign in’ button above.  Once you have done this, please sign in to OpenLearn Create and then enrol on your desired presentation.

Don’t worry about the start date having already passed. The content is available to you after the course end date. The only fixed time is next Monday 17 January for the webinar at 7pm. You’ll find the link in Week 3.

If you have any problems with your login try contacting the OU computing helpdesk:

Care Inspectorate Annual Returns 2021 – 22

This year’s annual returns are now available to service providers for completion from today until the 20 March 2022.

All service types must complete their annual returns electronically, using our eForms system


Even inactive services must submit an annual return

We no longer automatically downgrade services for failing to submit an annual return. This is because we do not believe that non-submission is necessarily a reflection of poor quality of service. We will, however, continue to publish details about submission or non-submission of annual returns within inspection reports. We also reserve the right to make a formal requirement relating to submission of an annual return, or in cases of serious or persistent non-compliance, to issue an improvement notice under s62 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, requiring its submission.

Please note that where the manager of the service has changed, you must formally notify the Care Inspectorate of the correct details. This can be done using our online digital portal.

If you have any questions about the annual returns, please read the CI frequently asked questions.

Find out what has changed in the 2021-22 annual return.

Funding Follows the Child & The National Standard

The criteria of the National Standard focus on what children and their families should expect from their ELC experience, regardless of where they access their funded entitlement.

Funding Follows the Child is ‘provider neutral’ and is underpinned by a National Standard that all settings – regardless of whether they are in the public, private or third sector, or childminders – will have to meet in order to be able to deliver funded ELC.

For families this means that they will be able to access high quality funded ELC with the provider of their choice – in the public, private, Third Sector or a childminder – if that provider meets the criteria set out in the National Standard, wishes to deliver the funded entitlement, has a space available is able to offer the funded hours in-line with their local authority’s ELC delivery plan (subject to the capacity of the setting), and is in contract with their local authority to deliver the funded hours.

This will mean that many settings will have children who may follow a blended model for their 1140 provision so there is new Highland Council guidance, Blended Placements Guidance for ELC Settings, to help support the quality of working in partnership meaning we all support families and children the best way we can.

This new guidance can also be found in the Operational Aspects page of the blog along with the Sharing Information with Blended Placement Template and the Risk Assessment Blended Placements Exemplar.