15th June Reopening letter
Dear Parents / Carers,
I am writing to you to set out the arrangements we have made to open to more children. As I explained in the joint COGS letter on June 6th, we are hoping to welcome additional pupils from 22nd June, but we will respond to the information and advice regarding the R rate given by Tameside Council to assess this decision and keep you informed.
As you may be aware, we have remained open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 23rd March and have been operating with smaller group sizes and additional hygiene and infection control measures. We have supported twenty families in this period and we thank them for following all the guidance and protective measures to keep this bubble of children, their families and our staff safe.
I mentioned previously that the proposals suggested by DFE to reduce the risk of infection are just not appropriate for Early Years. These include: limiting class sizes to a maximum of 15 children, spacing desks as much as possible, groups staying in one area of the school and not mixing, staggered starts, finishes, lunchtimes and playtimes, individual equipment, the removal of toys and items which cannot be washed and no items (such as reading books) going between home and school. Following research, we decided to model our wider reopening on the “Bubble Approach” from Denmark which recognises that social distancing with young children is unrealistic and would affect their well-being. It involves working as a “bubble” where the teacher and children interact as normal in their own space sharing toys and working together. The learning environment looks similar to our previous continuous provision, where the children can access small world, construction, jigsaws, books, water play, paints and a creative workshop. We have limited the amount of toys available in the session and they are cleaned before and after each session, and some resources like books are rested and rotated to limit the risk as much as possible. We are also cleaning surfaces and frequently touched points like door handles, bikes, the climbing frame, etc at points during the day. There are a number of things parents and carers can do to help us with our safety arrangements so we have compiled a new home-school agreement for during the Covid-19 pandemic which I have attached to this letter.
To enable us to open to a wider number of pupils, we have created two “bubble” spaces inside and outside the nursery which the children will be able to use as usual, including free flow inside and out. Each “bubble” will operate like a family and will not mix with members of another bubble or share their space (this includes the staff so we have even created a second staff room). At this time parents are not allowed inside our building, but we will share a video tour with you so you can see inside our setting. We will operate staggered start and finish times and would ask you to follow social distancing as you wait to drop off and collect your child. Please keep to your allotted time to prevent queues.
Our existing group of children will form the Sunflower key worker children bubble which will operate throughout the week. In addition to this group we will have two further groups, the Poppy (Monday/Tuesday) and Daisy (Thursday/Friday) bubbles, which will operate for two days each – leaving at least one clear day between the two groups. Please email Rachael Bailey email@example.com to express an interest if you would like your child to return to nursery. Please note that if demand exceeds places, the governors have decided to allocate places according to the following criteria:
- Key worker child
- Vulnerable child
- To prepare for transition to school
- Professional judgement of the staff based on educational and family need
The allocation of places will begin on Wednesday 17th June so please send your requests as soon as possible.
We are looking forward to welcoming your child back and I hope that you are assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our setting.