Once upon a pandemic


What a few months it’s been! After everyone’s lives has been disrupted by Covid-19, and continue to be, we’re thankfully seeing positive progress, in getting back to some normality. Our three day care nursery schools reopen today, after 10 weeks of being closed due to the pandemic. 

Since the Prime Minister announced the reopening of nursery schools would be part of the first phase of the UK’s recovery road map, we’ve been making plans. Closing the nursery schools was one huge task. But planning their reopening has been an even bigger one. 

We’ve been very conscious that each one of our families has different circumstances when it comes to their current work situation, childcare needs and views on the progress that’s being made with the virus. That’s why we’ve approached the coming months in a way we’ve never done so before. Parents have had the option to let us know when they’d like their child to return to nursery, between June and August 2020. We aim to approach every situation with fairness. While our business, like so many others, has suffered a huge blow since March, we felt giving parents this flexibility was the right thing to do. 

Covid-19 has brought so much uncertainty. While it’s been a very unsettling time, we’ve made every effort to keep both parents and our teams as informed as possible when it comes to nursery. Tapestry has been a fantastic tool, enabling us to keep in touch with the adventures the children have been having at home and setting challenges, such as seeing some lovely VE Day celebrations. 

We’ve been blown away by the thoughtful, encouraging and positive emails from so many. Thank you. As a small family run business, one that we throw everything into day after day, it’s heart warming to know we’re appreciated, mean a lot to so many and the support is shown back from parents and our teams.  

Having four empty nursery schools during a lockdown has kept us more than busy! Julie and John have utilised this time to give all the settings some TLC, gardening, cleaning, fixing, painting. You name it, we’ve done it over the last few weeks. All in preparation for the children and teams to return. We’ve also been organising additional cleaning equipment, social distancing markers, Perspex screens in our offices, new policies for parents and staff, all new safety measures introduced from the day we reopen.

Our brilliant teams have been with us all the way. As everyone appreciated the seriousness of lockdown, our entire workforce were furloughed at 80% of their usually salary. During lockdown, we’ve kept in contact via our private staff Facebook page. We’re hugely thankful to them for being patient and understanding in such a unique time, especially to those staff who remain in furlough for the time being. It was clear when talking to our teams about reopening they had missed nursery life and the children. Yesterday, the reopening teams were back with a bang in preparation for welcoming back the children today. 

We have truly missed the nursery schools being full of magic. The next few weeks will be a slow and steady route back to the new normal. But for now, we’re raring to go!