NEW: SPELL Training Programme

Please find below a list of courses that SPELL are running in Spring 2017:

Paediatric First Aid - COURSE FULL. Contact the SPELL office to be added to the waiting list.
Date: Tuesday 7th March & Tuesday 14th March 2017
Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: Whitehill Neighbourhood Centre, Hamilton

Basic First Aid Training for Parents - Spaces available on both courses.
Course 1: Saturday 18th March 2017
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Blackwood & Kirkmuirhill Community Wing, Blackwood

Course 2: Saturday 22nd April 2017
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Cathkin Community Wing, Cathkin

Introduction to Autism - COURSE FULL. Contact the SPELL office to be added to the waiting list.
Date: Thursday 9th March 2017
Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: Whitehill Neighbourhood Centre, Hamilton

Child Protection - COURSE FULL. Contact the SPELL office to be added to the waiting list.
Date: 26th April 2017
Time: 12.30pm - 3.30pm
Venue: Whitehill Neighbourhood Centre, Hamilton

All courses are free of charge and as well as being open to childcare practitioners they are also available to parents, committee members and volunteer helpers.  For more information about any of the courses on offer or
to book a place on a course please contact Wendy McPhillie on 01698 768944 or email: [email protected]

Little Hedgehogs

SPELL have recently ran three pilot Outdoor Toddler Groups in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire since.  The response and feedback we have received from those who have taken part in these sessions has exceeded expectations and we are now looking to secure funding to run more of our 'Little Hedgehogs' groups and take them to other localities in South Lanarkshire.  

As always, SPELL would like to thank groups for their continued support and as soon as we have any more information about Little Hedgehogs Outdoor Toddler Group we will let you know.

Free Early Learning and Childcare Hours Consultation

South Lanarkshire Council are seeking the views of parents and carers about the delivery of the Scottish Government's aim of 1140 hours of free childcare by August 2020.

We are urging all parents to provide South Lanarkshire Council with their views on this by completing the short survey attached.

All responses will be analysed and the outcomes from the consultation will be published in the Spring on 2017.

    Speech & Language Therapy

Drop-in clinic
esday 25th Juary 2017
If your child is not receiving speech and language therpay but you would like some advice, please come along to the drop-in clinic:

Tuesday 28th March 2017
30 Union Street, Larkhall, ML9 1DR

Speech & Language Telephone Advice Line

For parents who are unable to visit a drop-in clinic the Speech & Language department offer a telephone advice line. The advice line is available on any Thursday, from 2pm until 4pm.

Telephone Advice Line: 01236 794102

Please note this service is also open to professionals who are looking for advice on speech, language and communication. 

Making Play Inclusive

Sense have developed two play kits; one for early years play settings and their staff and one for parents.  The toolkits have been created to help childcare practitioners and families provide fun and inclusive play opportunities for children with multiple needs.

For more information and to access the toolkits please click here.

Ready Steady Baby! and Ready Steady Toddler!

The Ready Steady Baby initiative by NHS Scotland is a useful tool in helping you prepare for parenthood by taking you through the whole of your pregnancy – from the decision to start trying for a baby, antenatal care to advice on labour and birth. It also offers advice on maternity leave, benefits and provides you with tips for baby’s first year. Ready Steady Baby is now available as a smartphone app. For more information click on to the links section of our website and go to the Ready Steady Baby and Ready Steady Toddler websites.


Getting it right for every child, (GIRFEC) is a national policy and programme which is being implemented in Lanarkshire.  It was introduced by the Scottish Government and is relevant to every child in Scotland.

As children and young people progress on their journey through life some may have temporary difficulties, some may live with challenges and some may experience more complex issues.  Getting it right for every child ensures that ANYONE providing that support puts the child or young person - and their family - at the centre.

There is information and help available online including a leaflet for parents and carers.

GIRFEC Parents and Carers Information Leaflet 

GIRFEC in Lanarkshire

GIRFEC Scottish Government

Nutrition and Oral Health Training
Help and advice on health eating for childcare providers

This free on-line training programme is available to all childcare providers.  The learning programme complements the Nutrition and Oral Health Pack.  If your voluntary pre-five group does not have a copy of the pack please contact the SPELL office on 01698 768933.  For more information about the course please contact
Kirsten Lammie -
email: [email protected] or call 01698 377621.

Please click on the link below to view more information about the course:

Nutrition and Oral Health Training

Guidance Documents for Early Years Settings

These guidance documents have been produced to assist staff who work in early years settings such as playgroups and nurseries.  The documents also provide helpful information for parents and for volunteers who run baby and toddler groups.

Please click on the document name to download the guidance:


NHS Choices have a really useful guide on their website for Dads to be or those who are in early fatherhood.  To access the guide go on to the NHS Choices website at and search Dads-to-be and early fatherhood and click on the pregnancy and baby guide.


Several members of the SPELL team have completed the free Volunteer Scotland PVG online training and found it extremely useful and informative.  It is a live lecture done on your pc so you can ask the tutor questions and they will answer them for you.  If you have any queries or need training on the PVG Scheme, please click on the link below for details

Volunteer Scotland PVG Training

Stay Safe On-line

Have a look at the following links giving advice to parents and carers on Staying Safe On-line


Teaching Ideas


Common Sense Education

Respect Me

Scotland's First National Play Strategy

Play is pivotal to how children lean and a fundamental part of their quality of life.

This being enshrined in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Scottish Government have published their very first National Play Strategy.

Click below to check it out.

                                                                              Scotland's First National Play Strategy

SPELL Play Activity Programme

SPELL's "Wild About Sunflowers" play session was a great success last year.  Children saw the different stages of a seed's growth and used the equipment provided to plant their own sunflower seed which they took home to grow.

We are now taking bookings for our "Wild About Sunflowers" activity.  If you would like to book, please call our office, email us or speak to your Support Worker.

If you do take part in the sunflower session, please measure the height of your sunflower and email it along with a picture of your sunflower to SPELL at [email protected]  

Remember to include your child's name, age and the name of your group.  We will post your pictures on the SPELL website                                            and Facebook.


Farmyard Story & Songtime is a wonderful play activity where singing, storytelling and costumes are used to help children learn all about life on the farm. Children will get the chance to dress up in farm and woodland animal costumes, play fun games and discover the different types of animals that live in the Countryside.  The Play tutor can also adapt the activity to incorporate a particular season for example winter / spring on the farm.

Puppets and Storytelling

The Play Tutor uses puppets to tell magical stories that will capture the imagination of both children and adults.  The stories allow children to be involved in each activity and are encouraged to interact with the puppets during and after the session.  There are seven different themed sessions to choose from.

Booking a Play Session

All sessions are suitable for our Pre-five Groups.  All our Groups are entitled to one free play activity each year with the offer running from August through to June.

To book your free session please contact Wendy McPhillie on 01698 768944, speak to your Support Worker or email us at:

[email protected]

We are taking bookings up until June 2017.


If you want to find out a bit more about being on a Committee of a voluntary group or what it can involve, please click here

If you would like to discuss any of the points further or someone for SPELL to come out to one of your meetings, please give us a call on 

01698 768933

We are assisted in our work with funding from:

Our office opening times are:

Monday to Friday 9.00am to 1.30pm

Term Time only

We are a registered charity in Scotland.  SCO27970

Please follow and like us on Facebook for up to date information.

Play Activity Evaluation Form

If your group has had a play activity please complete our evaluation form by clicking on the link below:

 Play Activity Evaluation Form

 Thank you.