02/06/20: Coronavirus Policy
Due to a number of changes taking place amongst the Covid-19 pandemic we are reviewing a number of our policies and procedures. Please follow the link to take a look at our Coronavirus Policy.
01/06/20: Further information for Preschool Parents
Our stance remains that if a child can remain at home this is the safest place for them, however we are aware parents now need to return to work
We are therefore now requesting parents who need their children to return to preschool/nursery from week beginning 15th June to complete the booking form via this link: preschool bookings.
Once you have completed this form we will contact you via e-mail to confirm your child’s place and inform you of any further operational details. Please be aware you booking will be made from the data you input, this will generate your child's invoice for any fees over any funded hours.
For all parents who do not wish for their child to restart during this week please do not complete this booking form, it is really important at this stage that we understand who needs childcare. We will be in touch with you again within 14 days.
All settings will have no option but to operate with a reduced child capacity. In the result of settings becoming over-subscribed based on requested bookings we will be looking at individual circumstances and prioritise the following:
- Vulnerable children with an EHCP or social worker assigned to the family.
- Keyworker children.
- Households who need care due to employment.
- Children in receipt of 2 year funding.
- Children who are being supported by a TAF and other professional agencies.
- Households that have no employment.
We recognise that it is not possible to completely eliminate all risk entirely. We are continuing to assess the risks prior to reopening and will minimise risks wherever possible in the safest and most sustainable manner. Any decisions made based on the outcome of our risk assessments and guidance are made to keep children, staff and families safe.
- A rigorous COVID-19 site operational plan and risk assessment has been conducted to ensure settings can open in the safest possible manner.
- Parents will not be allowed into the setting at any point and only one parent should accompany their child for drop off and collection to reduce the number of people on site. Drop off and collection times will be staggered and phased for age groups and these timings must be adhered to. Social distancing will be required by parents and carers at all times.
- Parents and carers will be asked to leave the setting site promptly once they have dropped off/collected their child. Parents must not leave any buggies or prams at the setting.
- Children must wear clean clothes each day (uniform will not be expected). Children should come to nursery/preschool dressed to be able to go outdoors.
- Children are not permitted to bring items in from home into the setting unless absolutely necessary for their well-being.
- Staff must wear clean clothes each day and, as a result, may not be wearing company uniform. They will have their staff ID card, on show at all times.
- Staff will not wear PPE unless there is a suspected case of COVID-19 in the setting. At this point a designated member of Paediatric first aid trained staff will wear PPE until the child is collected. Staff members have been given the option of wearing a fabric face-covering if they choose to.
- Staff will receive additional training including COVID-19 training and infection control.
- Social Distancing is not to be expected by children attending preschool/nursery. Children will be allocated to a “bubble” with other children and will participate in activities within that "bubble". Each “bubble” will eat lunch in their setting rooms or outside wherever possible.
- Children from different “bubbles” will not be allowed to mix with other “bubbles”, even if they have siblings in that group. Lunch and break times, including activities outdoors will be staggered to support this.
- Daily routines will be adapted to ensure all children have access to a full curriculum including the use of the outdoor areas.
- Children will receive additional support to help them understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of COVID-19 including any attachment issues they may have developed.
- No food will be available; parents are required to provide snack and lunch for their child. This should be brought into the settings in a bag with your child’s name on it. All bags will be cleaned when the children enter the setting.
- All unnecessary items from rooms and corridor areas have been removed including all soft furnishings and soft toys. Other toys and resources that are hard to clean have also been removed.
- We will continue to regularly implement supervised hand washing following the government’s 20-second recommendation.
- There will be additional cleaning across the sessions including toilets, tables and frequently touched areas.
- Doors / windows will be open throughout the day wherever possible to provide additional ventilation.
- Toilets will be organized to ensure minimal numbers of children use them at any one time.
- Children will not be allowed to attend if they are using another childcare provider/childminder. It is important that children only attend one setting. Please discuss this with us if you need further support.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of measures but does highlight our approach across the settings, which I hope you find useful. More specific overviews will be provided ahead of the wider reopening and will be available here on our website.
Please could you complete the booking form no later than noon on Friday 5th June.
Stay safe and warm regards
29/05/20: Information regarding Out of School Clubs
Dear Out of School Club Parents / Carers
Firstly, we would like to thank you all for bearing with us while we have been attempting to make plans to reopen our Out of School Club settings.
We are working tirelessly to ensure the settings are safe places for your children to return to, some examples and further information regarding the measures being put in place, including a short video can be found at the bottom of this page.
THE SETTINGS BELOW WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE CHILDCARE FOR THE KEYWORKER AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN ATTENDING OUT OF SCHOOL CLUB DURING LOCKDOWN:
- Gayton – Wirral
- Huntington – Chester
- Upton Heath – Chester
- Whitby Heath - Ellesmere Port
NO other children returning to schools on 1st June from Reception, yr 1 and yr 6 will be able to attend club as agreed with the school. This is to ensure the safety of all children and staff within the setting.
Please do not book sessions for your child as they will not be allowed to attend. Registers will be checked against lists provided by the school.
Can parents please book their sessions ideally with as much notice as possible. This will enable S4YC to staff the settings correctly.
We can also confirm the following Out of School Clubs will remain closed until further notice:
- Bidston Village
- Bishop Wilson
- Christ Church
- High Legh
- St Luke’s
- Sutton Green
- Ysgol Penyffordd
Presently our stance remains the same, if your child can stay at home this is the safest place for them. The safety of children, staff and our families are of paramount importance.
Thank you once again for your patience and support at this time. Take care everyone and stay safe!
27/05/20: Parent Zoom Meetings 11am Friday 29th May
Your feedback is extremely important to us so, on Friday 29th May, we will be holding a number of parent meetings via zoom. If you would like to join us you will need to register by emailing email@example.com. Please include any questions you would like to ask. The zoom link will be emailed to parents on Friday morning.
21/05/20: Urgent Update for Preschools
Dear Parents / Carers
Firstly, we would like to thank you all for bearing with us while we have been attempting to make plans to reopen our Early Years settings.
We have been working tirelessly to ensure the settings are safe spaces for your children to return to, the following video link will give you some examples and further information regarding the measures being put in place. We will continue to share further information with you here as soon as we have it.
However, as of yet we have still not received any guidance from the Government as to how they expect Early Years settings to operate from 1 st June. Despite receiving a number of promises that this guidance is on its way, it is still yet to materialise. Along with other Early Years providers, we are alarmed that the Government have assured providers and parents that it is safe to reopen yet cannot offer any rock solid information on how we do this. Without this information/guidance to ensure your child's safety we have been left with no choice but to keep all of our preschool and nursery settings closed until at least 15 th June.
The settings below will continue to provide childcare for key worker and vulnerable children:
- Blacon Children’s Centre – Chester
- Stanlaw Abbey Children’s Centre – Ellesmere Port
- St Lukes Preschool – Frodsham
- Whitby Heath Preschool – Ellesmere Port
If you are a keyworker and need to return to work please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a place for your child at one of the above settings.
We can also confirm the following preschools will remain closed until September:
- Bishop Wilson
- Chester Road
This is mainly due to the preschools either being based in a community shared building or the rooms being small. If you require childcare please contact us.
Dependent on Government guidance, we hope our settings will begin to be able to reopen from 15 th June. We must stress, however, that it is your choice whether or not you wish your child to attend. Presently our stance remains the same, if your child can stay at home this is the safest place for them. The safety of children, staff and our families is of paramount importance.
Your feedback is extremely important to us so, on Wednesday 27 th May, we will be holding a number of parent meetings via zoom. If you would like to join us, meeting times and instructions will be posted tomorrow morning both here and on our facebook page.
Thank you once again for your patience and support at this time. Take care everyone and stay safe!
21/05/20: How we aim to mimimse risk
As you are aware we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to risk assess and look at ways of adapting some of our settings in keeping with the recommended guidelines. To give you an idea of some of the changes you can expect, please click on this video link for information regarding some of the adaptations we are putting in place to make each setting safe for children, staff and families.
19/05/20: Update for Preschools
Firstly, we would like to say thank you for completing the preschool online survey that has provided us with an indication of when you would like your child to start nursery/preschool again. We are now analysing the results to assess if/when it is possible to reopen our Early Years settings.
Settings will only reopen if appropriate measures can be put in place to protect your children and our staff from COVID-19. This is by no means an easy feat and only by everyone working together can we achieve the reopening of settings. We would advise parents to also do some research into the guidance we have been asked to follow. This will give you a better understanding of how early years settings will look if/when the children return. Some FAQ's can be found here.
After conducting initial risk assessments it is apparent that it is going to be very difficult to reopen some settings due to a lack of space or due to them being a shared community space where we cannot control who uses the rooms outside of the times we rent them.
It is simple, unless we can guarantee safe spaces we will not fully open our settings. We are considering several options including pushing the opening dates back, staggering children starting or only continuing to look after keygroups of children as we are doing currently. Some settings will not be reopened until September, however parents from these settings who need childcare will be given another local option.
We understand that this may not be music to some parent’s ears but no child, member of staff or parent will be put at risk.
As a company we still believe the best place for everyone is to remain at home if you can!
Our efforts have not been helped by the uncertainty and lack of leadership and the ever changing guidance from the Government who plan to address the nation in late May, confirming whether schools/early years settings should start to reopen from 1st June. This then only gives us a matter of day’s notice that children should return to education/childcare and in our eyes, is unrealistic and unreasonable.
At this point, we can confirm that nobody will be charged any fees unless they are happy for their child to commence their place again.
Our aim is to update you by the end of the week with further information, following which we will then reconfirm your wishes for your child to re-join us. Please bare with us till then, as the safety of all is of paramount importance to us.
Many thanks again for your co-operation with us at this difficult time.
13/05/20: Important Update
Further to the UK Government’s recent announcement regarding the potential and conditional re-opening of our Early Years settings on 1 st June, we are now working tirelessly in line with the current COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the health and well being of our children, families and staff for when we re-open.
For more information regarding the actions and measures we will be taking before re-opening our settings (including Protective Measures Guidance), please refer to the most recent Government Guidelines.
Click here to check the current advice being given to educational settings, and their students and staff, who are travelling or planning to travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance has been updated to advise British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period.
We have also received some information regarding homeschooling that may be of benefit to you...
StarLine is a telephone helpline which offers parents and carers personalised advice and support from a team of qualified teachers, education and parenting experts.
A group of partners, including Star Academies, Mumsnet, Oak National Academy, the Confederation of School Trusts, Triple P UK and a number of academy trusts, have come together to establish StarLine as part of their civic response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The essential closure of schools for the majority of pupils across the country has led to many families educating their children at home. This responsibility, combined with home working and caring for loved ones, has stretched some families to breaking point. StarLine, which is a sector‐led initiative supported by voluntary sector partners and the Department for Education, aims to take some of that burden away by providing families with empathy, reassurance and practical advice to support home learning.
StarLine is available to all parents and carers of school children nationwide. StarLine’s team of education and parenting experts will share tips, techniques and resources to help young people continue their learning while schools are closed, and to support family wellbeing. Parents and carers will be guided to help their children create regular routines and study habits, offering practical steps to take and access to quality resources. Parents phoning the helpline may require support with a specific topic, such as algebra or English, or simply be looking for tips about how to structure the day, deal with difficult behaviour or manage the learning of several children.
StarLine is open six days a week and covers all areas of the curriculum across all phases of education. In addition to qualified teachers, callers can speak to experienced education and parenting experts who can provide support and advice on behaviour, wellbeing and help for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities. Callers will be asked to provide details of their enquiry so that they can be passed to an expert with the appropriate knowledge and experience. All calls will be confidential.