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  • Writer's picture Sally Rustomji

Covid - One Year On

This is not an Anniversary that I really want to celebrate but it is important that we acknowledge the enormity of what we have all endured and experienced over the past 12 months.

Little did I know that the Business I had grown from nothing in 2000 and watched flourish into the busiest little nursery in East Riding would change in a matter of days. The Business that we had grown and loved was now unknown to all of us as we tried to unravel the complicated process of providing SAFE education to our children, jobs to our colleagues and childcare to our families through a worldwide pandemic.

Overnight our world had changed and we would all be lying if we said we weren’t panicked, scared and worried for our families, jobs and businesses at that time.

I can hand on heart say that these last 12 months have taken its toll on us all. A career I was so confident in suddenly became like my first day in a new job and boy was that scary at times.

We had to quickly change and adapt and no sooner had we made a decison and shared that with our families - everything changed and we were back to the drawing board. However, we were extremely proud to keep the doors of nursery open with our Rainbow Team to support our amazing key workers.

Everything we did and every decison we made over the last 12 months was to ensure the safety of everyone who came to our nursery was paramount.

I will admit we made great decisions and we also failed at some too and that is what this rollercoaster year as been about.

Making mistakes, apologising for not being perfect and all the while our families stayed with us, supported us when we thought all was lost and came back to nursery when the time was right.

Incredible really that we could go through all of this and still be open for Business - our familie strusted us and knew their children would be safe!

2020 had been a year none of us will forget. We changed everything we knew and opened our doors to create an Outdoor Learning environment to be proud of. Our children and colleagues became true nature explorers and we felt safe and happy at work !

Lives had been changed and, tragically, far too many have been lost but as we began to look back on 2020 and ahead to 2021 there is a renewed hope that things will be getting better soon and life will return to normal – maybe a little different but better.

We welcomed 2021 with all of us looking forward to the year ahead. We had holidays booked, invites to eagerly anticipated parties, weddings and christenings along with other notable milestones to celebrate.

Then lockdown came and our lives were turned upside down again but this time we were prepared and we just had to just ride these few months out! Supporting those families who didnt need to use our nursery and making sure they had a place to come back to when they were ready.

One of the real positives to come out of lockdown was the extraordinary efforts and commitment of staff and all our key workers – the incredible lengths they went to in order to help the communities they served, keeping essential services going despite the risks to their own health.

We will remain forever proud that we provided the essential childcare which meant doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, pharmacists, retail workers, teachers and care workers were free to go to work.

Our team really stepped up – working so hard to ensure our children were kept safe. I am extremely proud of my team for going above and beyond during this time. We tried to keep things as normal as possible for the children who once again proved an inspiration to us all.

On top of that we managed a full 12 months without one positive staff case which is incredible when you think about it. Proving that my wonderful Team have put everyone safety first throughout this time. As a Team we are closer than ever and take comfort in our workplace were we all support each other through good times and bad.

These last 12 months have been a journey and a journey we continue to navigate, but for now we have adapted and adjusted our Business to provide care throughout a pandemic.

We are still welcoming those beautiful faces each and every day and our parents and carers are absolutely fantastic as always.

Throughout the past year we have consoled parents and grandparents who feared for their jobs and didn’t know which way to turn, others who felt guilty for dropping their children at nursery so they could continue working on the frontline, knowing they were at risk, and those who had unwell family members. We have seen families loose family members to Covid and heard stories of bravery and resilience and the strength that our families have shown has been astounding.

We have missed our families not being able to come into our setting but we are encouraged that vaccines means we all now have something positive to focus on – and one thing’s certain, The Old School House Nursery will continue to deliver the best daycare provision for your children. If we can do that during the last 12 months we can do that through anything life throws at us in the future.

Thank you for being by our side to help us through this journey.

Here's hoping we all have a brighter year ahead together!

With love and gratitude to you all

Sally x

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