Amethyst Shelley, adminstrator at MTO Nursery, London, says, 'I wanted to share our lockdown story because I think it shows the amazingly positive attitude that early years teams maintain, even in a tough situation!
'Like other nurseries around the country, we remained open to care for the children of key workers; we even welcomed a few new families! We wanted to support our local community by providing temporary care for key worker children, whilst ensuring that our numbers were kept to a minimum for the safety of staff and children.
'Our managers created weekly activity packs to email out to the children who could no longer attend and made sure that our parents were called regularly and offered support. Our nursery cook hosted some amazing cookery lessons and we held a regular virtual circle time. Our team created a beautiful rainbow display (pictured) to thank the NHS and other key workers for all their hard work and tried to keep things as normal as possible for our attending children.
'We were so excited to welcome back more children from June 1st; we prepped our staff on new COVID-19 protocols, altered our policies with COVID-19 in mind and prepared the nursery environment to safely accommodate for higher numbers of children. The day went brilliantly, and we were so proud of how the children handled their first day back. We were feeling hopeful and ready for the week ahead!
'Sadly, when staff arrived on Tuesday 2nd June, we discovered that we had been burgled. Some of our equipment was taken, and doors and other furniture were badly damaged in the process. After reporting the burglary, our staff got straight to work tidying, cleaning, and making the nursery safe and presentable - we were determined to be open again the next day!
'We were so proud of the way that the MTO Nursery team came together and supported one another through a difficult day. By the next day, we were back to business as usual; even without our usual equipment our staff quickly and creatively adapted their practices. The parents were incredibly supportive, with many offering their assistance or kind words. We really couldn't have asked for a better response from parents and staff!'