Since 1st June, we have seen the return of some of our children and it has been a real joy to have them with us again. To hear the setting filled with the sounds of play and to see how happy they were to return has been very affirming to us. The staff team have been working tirelessly to ensure hygiene measures are upheld and ensure that the provision offered is engaging and varied, and we have received kind and positive feedback from parents and carers regarding our practices and extra measures.
In our previous update we stated that we were aiming to return to normal from 29.6.2020, depending upon government guidance and the restrictions for places being lifted. We have had many enquiries from families wanting to return and requests for restart dates. We know that many of our parents and carers are having to organise returning to work however, to date we have had no such update from the government and therefore, we are unable to commit to fully opening for all on 29.6.2020. We will, therefore, continue to review our places and await further information from the government regarding this.
Whilst unable to commit to fully opening, The Old School is continuing with its phased return, this includes continuing to operate under restricted opening times and with limited spaces.
We have identified a very limited number of available places in our Butterfly unit, which we are prioritising to our more vulnerable children and those who attend term time only and are due to leave for school in July. We are also able to offer a limited number of spaces to begin to phase the return of our 0-3-year-old children.
Our senior management team will be in contact with eligible families over the coming week to discuss options for a tiered restart.
From the end of term, 23.7.2020, we will be able to offer more spaces and will be contacting each family who have yet to return to discuss their requirements personally over the coming few weeks.
Obviously, we will keep you all updated of any changes to government restrictions and guidance and be aiming to fully open to all as soon as we are able.
Please be assured that should your child not be offered a returning place in this next cohort or if you decline the place offered there will be no charges made to your account, at this time. However, should you choose to decline the place offered, you will lose that space at this time and may not be offered another place until the next phase of reopening.
We can only apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, we really are doing all we can to provide for our families, but our hands are somewhat tied, as we must prioritise health, well-being and safety guidance.
We are aware that the government have stated ‘Early Years Settings will be open to all children’ from 1st June. However, this blanket statement does not take into considerations the restrictions to group numbers, distancing guidelines and use of provision that settings are implementing to ensure they are working within the guidance’s and expectations of the governing and advising bodies.
Please be aware that the restrictions and guidance to which we are working have been implemented to reduce the risk of transmission for Covid-19 and to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of all in attendance, and whilst the world is trying to return to normal, the risk remains prevalent and real.
For now, much of our provision remains as planned from 1st June with the following practices in place to support health and hygiene,
Restriction to numbers of children attending daily.
- Restricted opening times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am – 5:30pm and Tuesday, Thursday 7:30am -530pm only
- Social distancing observed by all adults.
- There is no entrance to the nursery provision for drop off or collection.
- Restrictions to ensure only parent/carers within the same household to collect or drop off children.
- Key Groups – consistent teams of key staff with regular groups of children in attendance.
- Children who attend more than one nursery or a childminder, will be asked for the time being to pick 1 setting to attend only.
- Children who are extremely vulnerable or who have family members that are shielding should not attend the setting until further government guidelines advise.
- Children will be encouraged in spending the majority of the day outside.
- The Old School feels that social distancing young children is not only, almost impossible but also detrimental to the children’s emotional wellbeing.
- Good hygiene and cleanliness are a priority.
We have attached a FAQ sheet for your information, but if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
Thank you for your continued support and kind words these past few months, it is greatly valued and we are so happy to be able to provide for our children and families now and in the future.