COVID-19 might threaten, but vigilance and creativity answer!

My child started at Little Learners Nursery in August (2020), and I couldn’t be happier with how she’s settled in. The staff are so welcoming and helpful. They provide photos, written updates and development updates through the day and it’s easily accessible through the [Tapestry™] app*. I would highly recommend this nursery”

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride since we re-opened nursery on 1st July. It’s funny how a situation that none of us would wish for can actually provoke creative ideas that result in children quickly becoming super happy and able to enjoy learning through play at nursery once again. Many of the practices we’ve been forced to adopt during this time will continue, because we’ve found they’re working really well!

For example, settling new children in by having them come over with Mum and Dad to play in the garden space over the summer has proved very successful. Little ones have found it much easier to settle into nursery life without Mum and Dad after they’ve relaxed and enjoyed playing with them in the garden for a while. Of course, we’ll get creative again in preparation for inclement weather arriving and make sure the activities suit the climate!

We’ve also taken to emailing all the registration paperwork to families in advance, so that the entire focus can be on playing with the children during the settling in period. This makes for happy parents and happy children – it’s a win-win situation!

Our new opening hours are 7.30am – 6pm. Each age group has two consistent members of staff who cover two shifts within the day, ensuring that parents have a familiar face at the beginning and end of each day. As well as being safer, this has made for much better communication, enabling parents to have a conversation with their child’s key worker every day.

Farmyard animals in nursery toddler's roomAny pertinent information about welfare is recorded on Tapestry™, using photos and a description rather than on forms as we used to do. Parents have told us they find this real-time reporting, particularly with a photo, far more reassuring, as they are able to see what has happened straight away and can chat to their child about it later in the day.

We’re so grateful to parents for their support and encouragement during this time. It’s difficult for everyone, but when a parent takes time to drop us a line, like Katharine did above, and, Sophie who said Children playing in giant sandpitMy son started in July, and so far the staff have been very good and engaging. The manager is very passionate about making changes. She is a new manager there and I am hopeful with her and the rest of the team they will get Ofsted rating of ‘outstanding’. They deserve it. Staff are attentive and caring. I was nervous at first as my son was only 9 months when he started and I was feeling guilty, but everyone has been really good with him, especially his key worker. Daycare has a lot of space, sandpit, outdoor area, ball pit and many other interactive activities for the children’ It really makes our job a pleasure to do and we love getting to know your children too!

Who knows what the future will hold? As the situation with COVID develops, we’ll continue to be vigilant and creative, adapting nursery life so that the children can grow and develop, learning through play and enjoying their time with us.

Finally, a thanks to all our parents who are being so vigilant in looking out for COVID-19 symptoms and ensuring their family are tested and quarantined as necessary according to the government guidelines. Thank you also for keeping your children off as a precaution if they have a seasonal cough or cold. These measures, along with our own approach of having staff regularly tested has meant that all Little Learners’ nurseries have remained COVID-19 free. Long may this last!

*Tapestry™ is an easy-to-use, secure smartphone app and online learning journal, helping staff and families celebrate their children’s learning and development.

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