Welcome to a new term!

We hope you all had a lovely summer!welcome to a new term

We greatly appreciate all you have done to ensure ELC settings were ready for the children returning.

We wish all staff, children and families a happy and settled start to the new term as relationships are created or re-established within safe and nurturing environments.

Cairngorm ELC share how they have prepared for the return of children on the Education Scotland Learning Blog.

Realising the Ambition During Covid-19 at Cairngorm ELC

“Uncertain and unprecedented times call for creative measures and allows us the opportunity to be brave and take a leap of faith out of our comfort zone.”

To find out more about how the team at Caringorm ELC have prepared for the children’s return and some practical ideas click here.

Reminder to all setting managers to update service status with Care Inspectorate

All managers of services closed as a result of the Covid-19 situation must inform Care Inspectorate, through eForms, of their commencement of service.  The non-statutory guidance for early learning and childcare (ELC) providers in the local authority, private and third sectors to support a safe reopening of these settings during Phase 3 states that:

Update service status – services closed as a result of lockdown

Prior to recommencing their service, the manager must contact the Care Inspectorate to advise them of their updated operational status. 

To do this they must complete a “Changes to Service Delivery due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)” notification. This is a new notification that services must use to inform the Care Inspectorate about operational changes that are specifically related to COVID-19. This is only available through eForms. If you do not update your status, the Care Inspectorate will consider your service closed.’   

For further information please see the section related to this in the latest government guidelines.


Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate Update

Today the First Minister announced that Scotland would remain in Phase 3 of the routemap. A letter to all childcare providers outlining what this will mean for them can be found here.

Within the letter links can be found for guidance for the following areas:

Early learning and childcare services

Out of school childcare services

Childminding services

Fully outdoor childcare services

Supporting the Gaelic language through family engagement at Newtonmore Gaelic Nursery during lockdown.

The past few months have been a massive learning curve for us all, especially whilst trying to continue to support children and parents in Gaelic Medium Education. The great majority of our parents do not speak Gaelic and we wanted to make sure that parents felt supported with the language and that the children could still hear Gaelic in context. We hoped that the children wouldn’t become frustrated at not knowing the Gaelic for some words or with parents for not understanding. We read our daily stories and rhymes in Gaelic both live and recorded. These recordings meant that parents and children could listen to the stories over and over again to hear spoken Gaelic. We then posted suggested activities that allowed the development of the language through them.  We also provided videos or pictures from the children and made sure to give comments in both Gaelic and English on our Google classroom to help support parents in using Gaelic vocabulary with their children.

To support our parents and children with Gaelic in Home Learning the EYP’s Miss Binnie and Mrs Gorman provided

  • Regular Google Hangouts/Meet where Gaelic was used in context
  • Home learning Packs 
  • Daily Recorded stories/videos – using Gaelic in greetings, stories and activities


  • Links to appropriate sites for parents tying in with activities and stories shared – https://www.gaidhlig-nan-og.scot/en/animals/ as well as Gaelic4 parents, Gàidhlig nan òg and Bumps to Bairns
  • Weekly Parent check-in emails
  • Miss Binnie’s Cbeebies Gaelic message from the teachers. BBC ALBA
  • EYPs available for general questions/queries on language – Pronunciation of certain words/ key vocabulary/websites/resources in Gaelic through the use of ICT.

We used our weekly check-in e-mail to inform what we did. Many of our parents were also working from home and juggling the home learning of siblings. We listened and responded to the needs of our families who at times found the live stories daunting and instead we created more recorded stories, messages and songs so that parents and children could find a quiet space to listen and watch at a time of their choosing. Many watched and listened over again which supported language learning.

The parental support and honesty has been greatly appreciated at this time. We had no test run of how this would work for Early Years. Parents are doing an amazing job and I’m sure they now have many more Gaelic words and phrases themselves.

Parent comments include:

  • Thanks for all your efforts-it is appreciated
  • Thank you for all the content and interactions you have been putting out
  • My child enjoys the videos to watch at his own leisure
  • My child  loves hearing the pre recorded stories and videos
  • Thank you for all the stories and giving us challenges. Keep them coming