Coronavirus Statement from Children 1st.
To our Children 1st Family.
What a tumultuous time we are facing as the nation battles against the spread of COVID -19. I would like to say how proud I am of the response from our nursery teams and you, our parents and carers.
Following the Government’s announcement regarding the closure of schools and nurseries to help combat Coronavirus, we had to take the unprecedented action to close our nurseries for children who do not have a ‘key worker’ parent.
This is the first time in 32 years that we have had to close our doors to our children.
We are extremely saddened by the situation and the uncertainty which surrounds us at the moment, but ultimately, ensuring the health and wellbeing of our families, staff and our communities is paramount.
However, all at Children 1st want to play our part in helping to support those families of ‘key workers’. It is essential that they can continue to access childcare so they can play their vital role in helping us all through the upcoming weeks.
Our team had to work swiftly to analyse the ‘key worker’ information you have provided. Thank you to everyone who contacted us so promptly and accurately with this information.
The detail you provided has enabled us to assess our situation and we can now provide the following update:
- 21 of our nurseries will continue to be open for the children of ‘key worker’ parents and the vulnerable children we care for. Newark Town, Leek Pre-School and Shepshed will close temporarily and children of key workers from these nurseries will be invited to attend their nearby Children 1st nurseries at Newark, Buckinghams Leek and Hathern.
- Settings will have their normal opening hours.
- Please drop off and pick up your children at reception. A member of staff will then take your children into nursery or collect them for you. This is to restrict the number of people coming into the nursery.
- Meals will continue to be provided for your children as usual.
- Fees will not be collected from anyone whose child is not attending nursery.
- Fees for children of ‘key workers’ who are still attending nursery will be collected as per usual.
- If you are in receipt of government supported childcare, please continue to claim this. If you have any specific questions regarding this, please speak with your nursery manager directly.
- Any sessions paid for but not taken in March will be credited to your account. They will be available when you come back in the near future.
- If you are a key worker and require additional sessions, please speak with your nursery manager directly.
- Currently, our plan is to keep all our amazing staff employed and wages paid until further notice so that we can provide continuity of service. Staff from Newark Town, Leek Pre-School and Shepshed will be redeployed to other nurseries to help.
This has been an emotional time for all of us, but the support and positive comments we have received has been truly humbling.
We will hugely miss all children who are not able to attend nursery over the coming weeks. For our children and families who are going to be at home, please stay safe. We will be thinking of you and can’t wait to see you all soon.
To help all our families, our nursery teams are planning special activities for your little treasures so that we can continue to keep in touch digitally via social media. Hopefully we can support those parents who are having to balance working from home or being in isolation with looking after children.
We aim to bring the joy of story time and the fun of being creative in the art studio to our children via the internet. If we can’t be together in the nurseries, then we plan to keep in touch online.
Please do keep in touch with us via social media so that we can keep the Children 1st family together over the coming weeks.
Thank you all for your support.
Margaret Mason OBE and the Children 1st Family.