“New Normal” in Child Care

With the end of the summer upon
us and no corresponding end to the Covid-19 crisis in sight, we as Nursery
owners have been coming to terms with the “New
Normal
” in child care.

On the one hand, it has been
absolutely marvellous to get back to work. Not only have we and our staff
missed the children, it seems that the children have missed us just as
much.   Those first few weeks in July
where challenging to say the least.
Having taken all the necessary steps to be deemed “Covid Compliant”, we could
only wait and see how the children and their parents reacted to the new regimes.   Wash hand basins in the reception areas and
universal  hand-gel and wipes set the
tone and just like we’ve seen elsewhere, parents  forming orderly queues (2 meters distant) at
our doors.  (Parents are not encouraged
to come into the nursery rooms in an effort to minimise contact) and it has
been a great relief to us that parents have been overwhelming positive and
co-operative in supporting the new measures.

The future is still a little
uncertain for nurseries throughout South Wales.
On one hand, there seems to be a real commitment to get education back
on track and as part of the education sector, we wholeheartedly support that.  However, there are other challenges still to
be addressed and overcome. For example, Schools – and primary schools in
particular – are re-assessing their procedures and access arrangements and
consequently, external bodies (e.g. Out of School Clubs) are not able to
operate within the schools.  For Kites, (and our sister organisation Oscars Out of School Club), we must now
operate from our own premises – meaning an increase in transportation and
movement of the children.   Other
nurseries are reporting their own challenges – particularly the smaller units –
where it has become more difficult to accommodate multiple “bubbles” and
consequently, reduced classes.

Never-the-less, we are all making
headway in defining and implementing the “New Normal” and it must be said, it
is becoming easier with the passing of time.

Let’s all hope that a Vaccine
isn’t too far away and we can look forward to 2021 and a return to REAL normal.

Catherine & Mike Whelan

Kites Nurseries

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