Dear Parents and Carers,

We write to you to set out the arrangements we have made to open Lime Tree Nursery from 1st June 2020 to all children, following government guidance. Our main aim it to make sure all our children and staff are protected and as safe as possible whilst attending nursery.

Thank you.

Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their understanding and cooperation since we had to close to the majority of children from 20/03/2020. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, in particular when you have had to juggle work commitments with managing childcare, if you have children with special educational needs or disability, or if you are a single parent.

I am pleased to let you know that, further to the government’s announcement that early years and childcare providers will open from 1st June 2020 (subject to scientific advice), we are working hard to take the necessary steps to be ready to welcome back all children. We will open to more children only if the government confirms that their five key tests justify taking this step.

Which children can attend from 1st June 2020?

As you may be aware, we have remained open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 23/03/2020 and have been operating with smaller group sizes and additional hygiene and infection control measures. We will remain open for them until wider opening is confirmed.

The government is now encouraging all eligible children to attend, and it is no longer necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home if they can. Please do contact us if you fall into one of these groups and would like your child to take up their place if you have not already confirmed with the managers.

From the week beginning 1st June 2020, early years and childcare providers will welcome back all children, if the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time. For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. Some categories of children with specific serious health conditions should not attend their early years setting. If you are unsure whether your child should attend the setting due to a health condition that they or someone they live with has, please contact us so we can discuss the details with you.

Protective measures we are taking in light of coronavirus (COVID-19)

First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest government guidance, to develop and implement a number of new ways of operating. This will allow us to open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting. Full details are available in our parent support plan which will be issued to all parents as soon as possible.
Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for reopening include:

  • Asking that any one who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who does, not to attend the setting. That includes children and staff who work here.
  • Keeping our children in small groups with as much consistent staffing as possible, and minimising contact with other groups around the setting.
  • Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
  • Ensuring our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout the setting.
  • Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including tabletops, door handles and play equipment.
  • Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household.
  • Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to the setting unless this is essential to their health and wellbeing.

What can parents and carers do to help?

There are several things parents and carers can do to help us make these arrangements effective, in addition to the points listed above concerning arrival and departure and not bringing toys to the setting.