Ask Me Anything - Covid 19 Pandemic - Our Response
Why are nurseries opening?
The latest scientific evidence indicates that COVID-19 appears to affect young children less often and with less severity. The role of transmission is unclear, but it seems likely that they do not play a significant role.
The Department of Education has published detailed guidance which enables nurseries to care for children safely and minimise the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
Nurseries play a vital role in educating and preparing young children for school. They enable children to socialise, learn and play alongside their peers. Nurseries are also important in supporting families to work.
What are the current opening times of nursery?
We are currently open for a Full Day from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. until week commencing 29th June. This allows us to slowly re-open the nursery with all the new procedures in place.
We have staggered drop off and collection times in place for both groups.
Rainbow Group Two - Can drop off between 8.00 a.m and 8.30 a.m. and collect between 4.00 p.m and 4.30 p.m.
Rainbow Group One - Can drop off between 8.30 am and 9.00 p.m. and collect between 4.30 p.m. and 5.00 p.m.
As of Week Commencing 29th June we are beginning our additional booking options.
If you have booked an additional option you can drop your child off at the following times.
Early Drop Off - between 7.30 a.m. and 8.00 a.m.
Late Collection - between 5.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m.
As our numbers increase and we open our third room our staggered drop off times change.
Also of June 29th 2020 we still need to apply our staggered drop off times but these are changing and ONLY apply for families who have booked a Full Day.
Your drop off times will be :
8.00 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. for The Ladybird Group
8.30 a.m. to 8.45 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. to 4.45 p.m. This is for Families who have children in more than one room.
8.45 a.m. to 9.15 a.m. and 4.45 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. - The Bumble Bees.
These staggered drop off times are in place whilst the Government advise this and the safe distancing recommendations are 2 metres.
How are families managing the new opening times?
These opening times are temporary measures and we are finding most families have a system whereby one parent drops off and another collects so this does not impact too much on the working day.
We also know the Government has requested that workplaces be considerate to parents with children in these initial returns back to work and that most employers are fitting in around new school / nursery opening times.
How would staggered drop off and pick up times work?
Katie will be in touch the week before your return date to discuss these procedures with you if they will apply. They will be individual to each room and will be in place until social distancing measures have been reduces and the Government advise we can lift these restrictions.
Will you cap the numbers at our nursery?
The Government has put in place a cap on numbers per room. The maximum amount of children we can take in any one room is 15.
This has meant we have had to reduce our places by 11 children per day - an incredibly difficult task and a decisions that has huge implications on our Business.
Can I make changes to my booking?
Your current offer of days moving forward are on your parent link app.
We have spent many hours allocating days to families based on the information you gave us in our questionnaires and booking forms.
We are allowing any family the opportunity to reduce your booking however at this stage we cannot make any increases to your booking or additional days. We understand this might not work for everyone however these are unprecedented times.
We will require 4 weeks notice to make these changes to reduce your days.
Can we start back part way through a month from June and July?
We will give you information on the date your child can re-join our nursery and this may be part way through the month.
If you have not been able to give us any information on a start date and contact us about re-joining the nursery or have not completed the questionnaire the places we can offer you will be subject to availability.
From August you will be required to start the nursery from the beginning of each month.
We cannot offer months on a part fees/part retainer basis at this point. This is a temporary measure and will be reviewed in September 2020.
Can my child attend 2 settings?
We are minimising all contact children have in the first 3 months of re-opening and therefore if your child attends 2 settings you will need to speak to us about this.
What measures have you put in place to keep children safe?
We have used the government guidance to formulate a set of safe operating procedures.
We will be emailing these out to everyone in the coming days via parent mail.
Everyone who works or attends the nursery will be required to read and follow these procedures, the most important being social distancing between groups of children/adults, regular hand-washing and children/adults not attending if they display symptoms.
Will my child notice any particular changes at nursery?
Naturally there will be an increased emphasis on hand-washing and small group activities. This is something we have always practised but will now be much greater attention to.
Your child will also remain with one key person for most of the day, together with their buddy group.
The groups will aim to be kept at a reasonable distance from one another. With core activities taking place in different area's.
There will be a greater emphasis on outdoor learning in your child's small group and I will be sending our new Flow of the Nursery Day timetable out to parents via parent mail in early June.
We are obviously very mindful of the children’s wellbeing and we will do everything to make things seems as normal as possible for them.
What will I be charged?
To allow staff and children to settle back into routines we are planning a phased return and offer of days.
You will only be charged for the days on your booking.
If you have requested a Grace period we will not be charging you for the months of June or July.
As of August you will be required to pay a 50% retainer for your nursery place.
If you wish to alter your booking permanently, one months notice will apply and you will need to confirm this by email Katie.
When will I get an invoice?
If you have indicated that you will be attending in June, you will receive a bill by the first week of June and so on for each month you start.
We will be then sending out fee calculation sheets to all families in the month of August for payments moving forward for the remainder of the year.
If you have returned to nursery but then decide to give in your notice, or decide not to attend for a few weeks, you will still be required to pay the bill for which you have been invoiced.
The required notice period remains at 1 month from the 1st June onwards.
What happens if my child is sick or if the family has to isolate?
Children can only attend when they are fit and healthy, this will mean that there are fewer sick days for everyone.
Strict measures will be in place for managing illness in the setting which are led by Public Health and the Government.
If your child is sick or if the family has to self isolate, then full fees will be due.
What happens about fees if the country goes back into lockdown?
Hopefully this won’t happen but if it does then we will have to look at the situation. We would hope our response would be the same but it is too early to say at this point.
You may well have other questions and we hope that Sally will be able to help you with. Our completed Safe Operating Procedures will be shared with you all before the 1st June.
Will staff and/or children be wearing face masks?
Currently, this is not a requirement that has been recommended to early years by the Government.
Our staff will not wear face masks but will wear visors if they are on meet and greet if they wish.
They will continue to use their PPE for their standard care routines e.g. nappy changing. If a child was to display symptoms then they will be removed from the main nursery playrooms with a member of staff until a parent is able to collect. You will be contacted immediately.
How do I let you know of any alterations to my child’s care?
If there have been any significant changes to your child’s routine or dietary requirements, you can indicate these on your booking form.
My child has a particular toy he is attached to, so can we bring that in?
We are trying to discourage toys from home as per our Safe Operating Procedures but recognise that might be difficult for some children.
If your child needs a comforter, we would ask that it stays at nursery in your child's basket or child's drawer . We will launder this for your child and return back to their basket /drawer.
How will you look after my child’s wellbeing?
We hope that by adopting a small group approach with an emphasis on routines, this will foster security and build up their confidence after such a long absence. We have lots of resources to help the team talk confidently about the virus and be able to answer any questions the children might have. As always, if we have any concerns, we will contact you immediately.
Will you comfort my child if they are upset?
Yes. A child’s wellbeing is paramount. If your child is upset, they will be comforted as usual by a member of staff. No child will be denied emotional support. The DfE has confirmed that it does not expect providers to keep all children two metres away from each other, or to care for children while remaining two metres away, as this is simply not possible.
Its guidance states: “We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff.” It has said that it is asking providers to try and minimise the risk of transmission by keeping children in smaller groups, and minimising the interactions between these groups.
If I decide not to return, will I have to pay a notice period?
If you decide not to return to nursery at all then you will not have to pay a notice period.
This will only be valid until June 1st, after which one months notice will apply.
If you wish to re-register your child at any point, this will be subject to availability and no registration fee will apply. We would always ask that you talk to us first if you are struggling with any aspect of your childcare booking.