Lockdown 2.0 is here… Does that mean you are back to working from home with the children around? Crying babies? Toddlers singing and dancing? Paperwork go missing? Zoom meetings with your boss whilst your children are doing a fashion show in the background? Yep you’re not the only ones!!

Check out some of the pictures below of some of the hilarious work from home situations some parents found themselves in!

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 the children may be feeling by explaining what Covid is and encouraging them to be open about their feelings and any 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.

What a better place to learn and develop than in the wonderful outdoors, admiring and appreciating the nature surrounding us? At St. George’s, we take every opportunity to take our learning outdoors and to teach our children to respect and understand the world around us.

Especially now more than ever, the Government is urging nurseries to use outdoor spaces where possible. Our staff have been making even more use of our outdoor areas and constantly cleaning everything (to find out more about our new cleaning and safety policies, please email or call us). Even though there is little evidence of Coronavirus being transmitted in schools + nurseries, we continue to do our best to keep our children and staff safe at all times.

All of our nurseries have an enclosed and secure outdoor play area for older children and a separate outdoor area for younger children, where they can play safely. Children laugh and squeal with delight as they make “mud pies” in our well-resourced mud kitchens, or as they build dens and play hide and seek. They enjoy splashing in muddy puddles or just putting their feet up and relaxing with a good book 

We believe that anything you can teach in an indoor classroom can be taught outdoors, often in ways that are more enjoyable for children 

There are numerous benefits to learning outside of the traditional classroom setting. Children often feel less restricted to express themselves outdoors and there are less space constraints enabling children to explore more freely. This freedom is excellent for both a child’s physical development as well as mental development.

Here are some of the benefits of high-quality outdoor learning experiences:

It will help children develop an understanding and appreciation of the environment and the world in which we live, including awareness of the different plants, animals and other species around us. It will help them to respect and care for the earth, and understand the ‘interrelationships among humans and the habitat. As the world becomes more populated and polluted, and as some animal and plant life becomes endangered and extinct, the role that we all play in protecting or destroying the earth can be reinforced. Through nature study, children can learn how they affect the environment as well as how the environment affects them.’

Children who play outdoors from an early age are more likely to enjoy exercising and carrying out other activities outside as they get older.  Studies have shown that children who engage in a minimum of 2 hours of physical activity rather than those who sit in front of the television or video games all day are more active in the later years of their lives. 

Children feel more freedom to discover new things when they are used to spending time outdoors. They learn to invent new games, create new activities and develop their own ideas, which in turn helps them acquire a risk-taking, self-sufficient, ‘can do’ attitude. This forms the basis of a strong foundation for not only future learning but also their future working lives.

Whilst being indoors often leads children to feel intimidated and stuck to confined spaces, being outdoors often helps children to express themselves more freely and become more outgoing and sociable.

Children are faced with increased opportunities to take risks whilst being outdoors. “Is that tree safe to climb?” “Can I jump off this log?”

“The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves.” – Roald Dahl

A strong focus on learning outside teaches children to not allow challenges get them down and to not give up easily. In turn, they build strong skills such as determination, ambition, as well as resilience.

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.