Nursery schools present “very little risk” and are Covid-safe, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said, as he defended keeping them open.

Mr Zahawi contrasted nurseries with schools, which were closed because they had been “vectors for the new variant”.” – BBC News

Mr Williamson said evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found that early years education had a very small impact on transmission rates.

The health, safety and well-being of every child, employee and all of their families is our priority. Throughout this pandemic, we have taken practical steps, and implemented robust measures, to ensure the welfare of the whole St. George’s family.

This ranges from more rigorous and more frequent cleaning and hygiene practices to pick-up and drop-off changes and controlled and strict access to our nurseries. We have been helping to manage any anxiety they may be feeling by explaining Covid and encouraging them to be open about their feelings and worries.

Some of the measures we have put in place include:

All children must be dropped and collected at the front door of the nursery. No one is permitted into the nursery other than the children and staff, and no one is allowed into the nursery if they (or a member of their household) show Covid-19 symptoms (until they have completed their self-isolation period).

Regular risk assessments are carried out and updated following any new rules, regulation or government announcements.

Hands must be regularly washed and sanitized throughout the day and the correct hand washing procedures must be followed. Frequently touched items including surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly and deep cleaning occurs each day including the use of antiviral fogging machines in each room.

Furthermore, our nurseries are fitted with air exchange systems. This acts as an air filtration system that continuously allows fresh air into the rooms and extracts stale air from the rooms.

Windows are also kept open for the majority of the day for further ventilation (weather permitting).

Outdoor play will also be staggered and equipment cleaned after a group has used it. Staff and children will have their own stationary, and the use of activities which could pose a risk of cross contamination (e.g. play dough / sand) will not be allowed. All children and staff must bring a pair of indoor and outdoor shoes. Indoor shoes must remain at the nursery and as soon as the child/staff arrives, shoes must be changed to these.

We also have various protocols in place should anyone develop symptoms whilst at nursery. If you would like to know more about any of the changes we have made, please refer to our Covid risk assessment or call / email your nursery manager who will be able to provide you with more information.

Thanks again for your continued support and cooperation.

We will sustain the present efforts in protecting everyone in our St. George’s family, as well as continuing to provide the highest possible care for our children. We have an ‘open door’ policy here at St. George’s Nursery, so if you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your site manager.

At St. George’s Nursery, we love this eBook! It is all about letting children know that it is ok to feel worried once in a while. It also teaches them how to deal with these emotions, not just during this uncertain period but in their post-Covid lives.

“In this bright and friendly picture book, children learn that it’s okay to worry about coronavirus. Fun rhyming couplets keep the tone gentle and supportive, and you will find plenty of ideas for dealing with coronavirus in a positive way.

Everybody Worries offers your child the reassuring message that this crisis will pass, we are there for them, and we will get through this together.”

Supporting your child during the transition out of lockdown

You and your child may be feeling excited about the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions. But it’s also normal for children and young people to feel worried or anxious about transitioning out of lockdown. We’ve all experienced significant changes to our daily lives and routines – and we’re living with lots of uncertainty about the coming weeks and months.

During lockdown, we’ve had to stay home for long periods of time and we’ve been instructed to keep our distance from others. You and your child may have become very aware of keeping yourselves and others safe, and this can feel worrying.

As some lockdown measures begin to ease, some children and young people may find it difficult and it may take them some time to adjust.

Here are six things you can do to support your child:

1) Explain the changes to the lockdown restrictions.

Find out how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking about. Let them know it’s okay to feel scared or unsure, and try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate way. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking things through can help them feel calmer and provide them with some reassurance.

2) Get your child to reflect on how they are feeling about having closer contact with some people and going outside more often.

Get them thinking about what feels comfortable and right for them, and prepare them for the fact that some people may react differently to meeting up.

3) Remind them why the rules are in place.

Remind them that the rules are there to help keep themselves and others safe, and that they’re not forever – things will eventually go back to normal.

4) Spend quality time doing positive activities with your child

– such as reading, playing, painting or cooking. This will help to reassure them and give them a break from any worries they have. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’.

5) Keep routines

Keep as many regular routines going as possible to help your child feel safe and secure.

6) Remember that this is a gradual process and that your child may need some time to adjust to the new situation.

If your child is feeling worried or overwhelmed, arrange catch-ups with family and friends on a smaller scale at first and start by making smaller trips outside the home.

#StopTheSpread

News about the Coronavirus pandemic is everywhere.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to control the news that we consume, or to shield children from upsetting information.

What you can do is to help minimise the negative impact it has on your children.

You can do this through open and honest conversations at home.

Here are some top tips: