We have been working hard across our services to review the measures we have in place and can realistically put in place to make sure we can meet the new government guidance to the sector. Please do have a read of the guidance document, as our customers we are really happy to discuss this with you and take on board your views and suggestions:
At Early Start, we have decided that the best way forward, before re-opening services is to speak to our customers directly to understand your needs, address any concerns and make a forward plan together. We have also been consulting with our team members including those who have kept the nursery group open over the lockdown period so we have the advantage of their experience and having already made a number of changes to our routine, hygiene regime and ways of working.
Taking on board your views to date and those of our workforce we have decided to re-open our services from June to September in progressive cohorts of children / families in 14 day blocks, gradually increasing numbers in our centres and nurseries in small cohorts in a safe and planned way.
Shrewsbury Rd Nursery remains open for keyworkers and vulnerable children and we are slowly increasing our roll from the second week of June with children re-joining the setting if their parents/carers need to return to work.
Susan Lawrence Nursery will be doing the same for parents / carers with childcare needs from 15th June. With planned re-admissions only, pre-agreed staggered drop off and collect times and year group bubbling in operation.
We are looking to open our Family Contact Centre from w/c 20th July with a limited caseload of families in progressive cohorts; again over 14 day blocks starting with up to 15 face to face contacts, 30 in the following fortnight and so on. With the remaining caseload continuing to have video calls until we can safely offer to resume normal services.
Where possible, prior to the 15th July, teams who are able to, can access our re-designed office spaces including FCC, parenting, nutrition, volunteering and business support. Prior to these dates teams will continue to work from home (WfH) delivering their services online. Going forward as a Company will be retaining the ability to deliver all our services remotely and supporting a flexible mix of time WfH and time in the office where job roles, customer expectations and service needs allow for this.
As our customers re-join services from June, we ask that you contract with us and agree to the following:
- Not to enter our buildings if you or anyone in your family is displaying any symptoms of coronavirus and to follow the COVID-19 guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
- Call to let us know at the earliest opportunity if the above applies and contact 111 to book a COVID 19 test
- Inform the manager of the results of the test as soon as returned. If clear, arrangements can be made to attend services. If positive, the manager will need to instigate a control procedure and advice all people in the contact network to self-isolate.
- Maintain 2m from next person where possible and or wear a face covering
- Children will be encouraged to social distance from each other and understand the space needed by putting their arms outstretched to the sides and whilst staff will limit contact as far as is possible, we cannot expect early years age children to remain 2 metres from each other or their keyworkers
- Drop-off and collect your child(ren) / attend only at the agreed times and if you are late contact the manager to agree another time, do not just turn up
- Only 1 adult to attend per family group to drop off and / or collect and if there is a queue, please line up at 2m apart. Where possible this should be the same person to maintain the same social bubble
- To wash hands before entry at the sanitiser point by the main door and before touching the buzzer or door handle and ensure that your child(ren) do the same
- Accept that if you and or your child(ren) become unwell with symptoms like that of covid19 whilst in our care, we will ask you to self-isolate and to book a test as above
- Staff will generally not be wearing PPE, but will only wear PPE if there is a risk of contact with bodily fluids i.e. nappy change, toileting, first aid, or if they are looking after someone who displays possible COVID symptoms
- In these cases, PPE will be disposable gloves & aprons. They may also be wearing a clear visor and face mask
- Children will be allocated a large enough space for their bubble to play in. This will be a shared space for every child in the bubble
- We will be removing all forms of paper exchange and using on online systems wherever possible
- Whilst we are always happy to be asked and answer questions please ask us to arrange to call you rather than wait in reception at appointment, drop off and collect times.
Finally, thank you so much for your support over this time, for thinking about and asking about us and for the kind words to our staff who have stayed working over the lockdown period and who continue to do so. It has been a tough time for us as a business and for our teams as we know it has for many of you. We keep going because of your thoughtfulness, kindness and for your wonderful children who have made us really smile over the lockdown period and for those who we have really missed and are looking forward to welcoming back to the nursery, family contact centre and across all our services very very soon.
As ever we are happy to discuss the government guidelines and welcome your suggestions as our customers, parents and carers.
Thanks again, take care and best wishes,
Managing Director of Early Start