CALA open new childcare site on Inverness Campus

The Care and Learning Alliance (CALA), the largest 3rd sector provider of early learning and childcare in Highlands, today (2nd July) accepted the keys to its latest facility on Inverness Campus.

CALA has taken on the lease of the building formerly occupied by Inverness College UHI’s Early Learning and Childcare Centre, and will open its doors to children on 19th July, providing high quality childcare to local parents and carers.  This includes staff and students of the College and wider Campus, who will be able to access the new ELC facility, renamed Beechwood ELC.

The partnership between CALA, who will independently run and manage the new facility, and Inverness College UHI will mean a year-round early learning and childcare service on the Campus. The College will also support CALA by providing catering for its Beechwood ELC, while CALA will continue to offer work placements to College students and support apprenticeships.

Beechwood ELC will be open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5.30pm, providing a 0-5 childcare service, with 1140 funded hours, in partnership with Highland Council, available for eligible 2-year-olds, 3 and 4 year-olds.

Jaci Douglas, Chief Executive of CALA, said “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to open a new ELC setting on Inverness Campus to meet the needs of the users on site and the wider local area.  We have in place a fantastic staff team and can’t wait to open and meet the children and their families to provide a nurturing and enriching environment for them.  CALA already run over 20 early learning and childcare facilities across Highland and Moray, including school aged childcare as well as a range of other services such as training, family and community-based play and learning in English, Gaelic and Polish and we provide the sector wide staffbank.  We will be working closely with the College and are grateful for the support of the staff as well as the patience of parents while we finalise the works needed to meet the legislation and Care Inspectorate registration”.

Professor Chris O’Neil, Principal and Chief Executive of Inverness College UHI said: “I would like to formally welcome CALA to Inverness Campus, as the new providers of high quality, early learning and childcare.  We know this service is in high demand and are particularly pleased that childcare will now be available to our staff and students, as well as the wider public, year-round.”

Ms Douglas added: “We will be opening the service initially from 8am to 5.30pm Mon to Fri but if demand allows, we will look to provide longer hours for maximum flexibility for parents especially those working shift patterns.  We will be opening to children from 19th July and have some spaces available over summer and into the new term.  If anyone would like to make an enquiry, just call us on 01463 222 569 or visit our website – we’d love to hear from you.”

*Media release issued by the Care and Learning Alliance*