Preschools and nurseries reopen with safety measures in place

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 June 2020

Julie McCallum manager and joint owner of Play and Learn Preschool with staff and children, pictured with head teacher Jason Nicolaides when they moved into their new building at Mead Vale Primary School earlier this year    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Julie McCallum manager and joint owner of Play and Learn Preschool with staff and children, pictured with head teacher Jason Nicolaides when they moved into their new building at Mead Vale Primary School earlier this year Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Preschools and nurseries across Weston and Worle, with new restrictions in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus, have begun opening their doors to children.

The government announced early years settings and schools could open to more pupils from June 1.

Play and Learn Preschools, which are based at Mead Vale and Worle Village primary schools, decided to reopen to children on June 15.

Places have been offered to older pupils who are due to move up to school in September, children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

Dedicated staff have worked hard to make it as normal and as safe as possible for everyone.

Children will be taught in bubbles and be able to interact with each other, as well as all the staff. However, parents will not be able to enter the building, and staff will adhere to social distancing rules with each other.

Manager Julie McCallum said: “It took quite a lot of organising, getting in touch with all parents and setting out new guidelines.

“We’ve got enough children to just have one bubble. We wanted to make it as normal as possible and thought it was important to let the children play with each other as they are back with their friends.

“It’s a hard decision to make because we don’t have to go back, but after talking to staff we felt that, come September, this might still be happening, so we might as well go back now and get used to doing this differently.

“We really wanted to be there for parents and children and to give the children an opportunity to go back before they start school.”

Staff will not wear PPE, but they have masks, gowns, gloves and aprons to wear should a child be present with symptoms.

Julie added: “Everybody has to work together, so if a child is ill, even if they’ve just got a runny nose, they can’t come. The same for staff. We don’t have to wear masks and we decided not to as we thought it would be too frightening and we want it to be as normal as possible.”

Julie has been calling the children during lockdown and reading stories on the preschool’s Facebook page.

The preschools have also been holding virtual tours for prospective parents as they cannot currently visit the premises due to the pandemic.


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