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Nursery Life During Coronavirus

Hopscotch and our Experience

Hopscotch has over 30 years of experience providing first class childcare. We have also adapted to recent changeable circumstances, drawing on our expertise and experience, to ensure we have been able to continue providing childcare since reopening on 1 June last year. Our passionate staff teams have worked tirelessly throughout these challenging times to ensure we can continue to provide a service to all of our families.

Wonderful testimonials from parents

Please see some of the wonderful testimonials we have had from our parents since reopening in June last year on our Testimonials section of the website.

What you need to know about nursery life during this time

We have tried to answer as many questions as possible but if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at office@hopscotch.uk.com. We will do our best to respond as quickly.

Is it safe to continue sending my child to nursery?

We understand this is a worrying time for everyone and we want to ensure life for our children can continue as normally as possible. The safety and wellbeing of all our children and families and staff is our number one priority.

We have implemented a number of new measures in the nurseries to mitigate the spread of the virus, which are explained in more detail below. We understand many of you will have concerns around continuing to send your children to nursery at this moment in time, however, we will continue using our significant experience in childcare and our newly acquired experience in mitigating Coronavirus to ensure all aspects of opening our nurseries safely are considered and all necessary measures are taken at every nursery location.

What are you doing to protect children and staff?

We are following all Government guidance on how to ensure our ‘COVID-secure’ environments continue to protect the wellbeing and health of all our children and staff, even in light of the more transmissible strain of Coronavirus. We have updated our detailed Risk Assessments and Site Operating Procedure (SOP) documents for each nursery. Social distancing measures are implemented where possible, where possible we try to create smaller groups of children and to reduce mixing of groups, we continue our emphasis on good hygiene and in particular on thorough and frequent handwashing, there is a renewed focus on outside learning and activities, and also we have been developing health and wellbeing specific activities which will increase children’s awareness of good hygiene practices and help protect their mental health at these challenging times. We want nursery life to continue as normal for all our children once they arrive at the start of the day and they should really see no difference to how things were prior to the pandemic.

We will continue the frequent and thorough cleaning of all nursery areas with suitable anti-viral chemicals. This will be led by our own internal team of housekeepers who will also be supported in their duties by other staff members. In addition, we will be undertaking regular deep cleans of our nursery premises.

What about PPE?

We are following Government advice on this subject and currently there is no requirement for nursery staff to wear additional PPE items whilst working in the nursery. We will be asking staff who are answering doors at drop-off and collection times to wear some PPE including face masks, gloves and aprons in order to afford them extra protection at these times. Staff who wish to wear their own masks or other PPE items will be permitted to do so.

How are you implementing social distancing?

Whilst maintaining social distancing at nurseries is not realistically possible (as acknowledged in Government guidance), there are a number of other measures we will be implementing to help mitigate the spread of the virus in the nursery environment. These include creating smaller cohorts of children who, where possible, will be led by the same members of staff. These groups will be kept a safe distance from other groups and mingling between groups will be kept to a minimum.

We will be asking parents to adhere to social distancing measures at drop-off and collection times and all parents or carers are required to wear a mask at these times. Those who do not wear masks will be politely reminded of the need to do so. Parents will no longer be permitted to enter the nursery premises and although we understand this will be challenging, we will do our best to support you and your child at these times. It is vital that everyone plays their part in order to help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus and we are reliant on all of our parents to help ensure the virus does not spread amongst our nursery communities.

All staff are very well versed in our Coronavirus measures and they have all reviewed are familiar with each site’s Coronavirus Risk Assessment which clearly sets these out.

How can you ensure that the nursery environment is clean?

As always, excellent hygiene is a priority. Our housekeepers are  working increased hours and other team members are also undertaking regular cleaning duties as part of their daily tasks. We have invested to ensure we have the most effective cleaning products and tools available.

Will your staff have access to testing?

Our staff undertake Lateral Flow Tests three times a week and can book PCR tests if necessary.

As per the new guidelines, we no longer need to identify close proximity contacts of any positive coronavirus case at our nursery settings and will therefore no longer need to instruct children to self-isolate. As per official guidance issued by the Department for Education, all contact tracing will now be undertaken instead by NHS Test & Trace.

How will I pay for childcare?

Due to social distancing measures, we are now no longer able to accept cash or cheques as a payment method at our nurseries. We have trained more office staff to be able to take payments via the phone. You can still pay by BACS and other payment choices such as TFC, Voucher Payments and Direct Debits will not be affected.

Will you close again in the future?

Prior to the lockdown last March, Hopscotch had never unexpectedly closed in over 32 years of business and we were extremely proud of this record. We are sad that we had to close some of our nurseries, but we are also very proud that we were able to keep our Preston Park nursery open for Key Workers.

Like many of you, we simply do not know what the future holds. We are closely monitoring the situation and if there are any changes to rules about nurseries remaining open then we will notify you as quickly as possible about what this means from a childcare perspective. We will also always make the decisions based on the wellbeing of our children, staff and everyone’s families. This might also include a short-term temporary closure of some nurseries where staff availability has affected our ability to continue operating in a safe way for all.

Will nursery life go back to ‘normal’?

Hopscotch continues to strive to provide the best possible childcare for our Hopscotch families and to ensure our children thrive and flourish in our safe, supportive and outstanding nursery environments. We are hopeful that the we can remain open in the coming months and that the vaccination programme will also restore some normality as it is rolled out across all sections of society.

We have tried to answer as many questions as possible but if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at office@hopscotch.uk.com. We will do our best to respond as quickly as we can.

Please also see this information from the Government & NHS which may also help answer any questions you may have.


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