Throughout this crisis we have continued to remain open to support NHS staff and other critical workers who need care for their children. In order to do so safely, and to maintain the necessary enhanced level of infection control, we have reviewed and made lots of changes to how we do things and our standard operating routines. These changes cover everything from cleaning routines, how we organise and plan activities for our children, how we deploy our staff and how we organise and use our building (including dropping off and picking up children).
We have undertaken and implemented a comprehensive Risk Assessment covering the whole operation of the Nursery. This will be available, to all our parents, within our secure Parent Portal, before we fully reopen.
British Government guidance, like that from elsewhere in Northern Europe, encourages Nurseries to make maximum use of their outdoor space. This has always been a fundamental part of our philosophy ever since we opened over seventeen years ago. We operate as a Forest School and Nature Nursery.
Our Outdoor Learning Area is divided into a number of discrete, physically separated, areas where small groups of children can be easily supervised. It is far easier to encourage children to socially distance outside in the sunshine and fresh air and harder to transmit infection.
We have made a significant number of changes to the way we use our building, including completely reorganising how parents enter and leave the Nursery to minimise the risk of infection. We are currently using three separate access points to the building. We have introduced a “one-way” system so that parents can arrive and leave the building in different directions to ensure that contact between parents is reduced to a minimum and both parents and children can socially distance when approaching and leaving the Nursery entrances. We have temporarily restricted parental access into the Nursery and restricted staff access within the Nursery to reduce the possibility of transmitting infection.
Our large sliding doors to the rear of the Nursery are open as much as possible to provide more fresh air.
Our Cleaning Routines
We have reviewed all our cleaning and hygiene routines and enhanced these as well as introducing strict new ones.
Hand soap is readily available for all our children and staff alike. All surfaces are cleaned several times a day and all our rugs are washable. We have no fitted carpets as these cannot be appropriately cleaned to reduce infection. In accordance with Government guidelines, we are not using any toys or resources that cannot be easily be cleaned and sterilized.
We have procured large supplies of cleaning fluids, anti-bacterial soap, protective equipment for staff and all the other products we need.
In line with Government guidelines, we have made a lot of changes to the daily life of the Nursery. We are separating children into smaller groups with the same members of staff. Our children wash their hands regularly throughout the day. We take account of the need to maintain social distancing and reduce possible contact when we organise all our activities for children. We make maximum use of our Outdoor Learning Area.
Importantly, during this present time, we continue to follow the Government’s EYFS, whilst also ensuring that each child continues to experience an enjoyable, safe and stimulating day in Nursery.
Parents Looking for a Place
Normally parents who are looking for a nursery place for their child are encouraged to come and visit us at any time of their choosing, without any prior appointment or notice. Normally parents would be shown the whole of the Nursery and our Outdoor Learning Area, encouraged to meet, talk and ask questions of the staff who would be looking after their child, as well as being given a demonstration of the Nursery Parental Access webcam system, Parentzone (our online learning journal) and our Parent Portal.
If you are interested in a place for your child, then come and see us. However, during this present crisis we ask that parents ring us first in order that we can organise a few infection control measures before your visit. During the present crisis, parents cannot enter into any of the areas used by children but we can still show the whole nursery and outside learning area through our webcam system and through large glass screens. We will also do our best to describe to you how we operate and our philosophy.