Well, when we were all celebrating seeing the new year in, I bet none of us could of predicted what an absolute monumental year 2020 would be. It’s certainly one that will go down in the history books.
It started off like any other year. There were fireworks, merriment, cheers and hugs as we all shouted “Happy New Year” to our loved ones. But then came the rain, the rain and more rain.
Was it ever going to stop? So many people were affected by the floods and just when the rain stopped and people were trying to come to terms with the damage and upheaval they had experienced, along came ‘The Virus’.
It has changed our lives forever. In years to come we’ll be saying “do you remember the virus?” The year 2020 will be written in the history books and the way the world coped with it.
But we want to concentrate on the way it has affected us, our team, our little people and our families and we want to shout from the roof tops that we think
“THEY ARE ALL AMAZING”.
Getting the news on 25th March 2020 that we were going to have to stop so many of our children coming to nursery was heart breaking. Our managers spent hours on the phone finding out which parents were key workers and therefore still able to attend but we quickly realised that the majority of our Kings Heath children were not allowed to attend and we took the very difficult decision to temporarily close Lilliput @ Kings Heath. We were all devastated. Even though it was temporary, it felt like we had lost it forever. It was a very surreal feeling. Having to tell our amazing team that some of them were going to be Furloughed was also so hard. It felt at the time, like we were saying goodbye. We wanted all of our team but sadly this was not possible.
We continued to open Lilliput @ Rubery with only 9% of our registered children across the two settings attending. Our four managers from the two settings continued to work together doing every role and responsibility that is needed to maintain high quality childcare and education. They were managers, they were nursery practitioners, they were cooks, they were cleaners, they were office admin, they were educators, they were every role that you can possibly think of and they kept us going.
And for this we are eternally grateful.
The managers, the children and the families all adapted to the new way of doing things. Over night everything changed. Parents were not allowed in the setting. Children had to wave them goodbye outside and walk into nursery where a manager was waiting for them and they did this brilliantly. Our little people are so resilient and adapt to change so well. They just accepted it and got on with it. Although we have always had exemplary hygiene practices, we ramped them up and again the children listened, learned and just got on with it.
They really are superstars.
Then after 10 long weeks, we received the news that we could now open up for more children. Again the managers spent hours on the phone speaking to our families to find out who would be coming back. And HOORAY, we had enough children to re open Lilliput @ Kings Heath. The next few days were so busy. Writing a risk assessment that resembled War and Peace, putting social distancing visuals in the car park and garden, deep cleaning Lilliput @ Kings Heath, ordering a mountain of PPE, and contacting our team to let some of them know they would be coming back.
Again, everyone has been fantastic. Every one of our team couldn’t wait to come back. They had missed the children so much. Unfortunately, not everyone can come back yet.
The children and their families have just adapted to our ‘new normal’. Every child has stood on those yellow lines and waited to be let in. They have then walked in like they have never been away.
But the one thing that hasn’t changed and will not change, is the care and cuddles that the children need. Our team do an amazing job and will do everything to minimise the risk of infection but they will not take away the care that they give the children to keep them happy, safe and secure while with us.
The children’s happiness and well being come first. We will do everything we can to continue to give the children a fantastic fun filled day at nursery and of course, CUDDLES!
We’re still only up to 29% of our children attending across the two settings and we still have a long way to go getting our numbers back up to pre – virus times but we’re determined to get there.
It’s at times like this that we know how lucky we are to have such a great team and great families. Without them all this would have been even harder than it has been.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
And we can’t wait for more children and more of our team to come back.