YMCA Day Nursery have continued to be overwhelmed with the response and support of parents as they continue to provide care for all those placed in the nursery during this pandemic.

Our Nursery manager Ian Pearson has provided some helpful answers to frequently asked questions on how the nursery is responding to COVID-19.

Q:What is your overall approach to operating YMCA Day nursery during the pandemic?

“YMCA Day Nursery’s priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of the children placed in our care as well as their families and our staff. In regard to COVID-19 we have implemented a specific policy and risk assessment to ensure we have robust infection control and we have responded to the guidance issued by the government, NHS, public health England and our own local authority.
During national lockdown when many local nurseries closed, YMCA day nursery remained open to provide support to key workers. Changes to daily practices were made to ensure everyone was safe, and these practices will remain in place for the foreseeable.”

Q:What safety measures will be in place for children returning or starting nursery?

“At drop off and pick up we are asking parents/carers to hand children to a member of staff at the nursery entrance and remain a 2 metre distance from others. These same measures have been put in place when collecting their child. Please be patient with us as we get children ready for leaving and collect belongings. We have also added some markings near the nursery entrance to help with social distancing.
Each child has been placed in a specific group within their room and our Practitioners have the rooms organised in a way that encourages social distancing as much as possible in a nursery setting.

Q: How are you managing access to the nursery?

If a practitioner has COVID-19 symptoms, (or has someone in their household displaying symptoms), they will not be allowed to work until they have either completed self isolation in line with current government guidance or have had a test and tested negative. Non-essential visitors to nursery will not be permitted.”

Q:Will staff be wearing PPE such as masks?

“Staff will continue to use appropriate PPE when necessary throughout the daily routine of caring for children. Inline with current guidance staff will wear additional PPE if we are dealing with a suspect case of COVID-19. This will be done on a 121 basis and in an isolated area of the nursery until the child is collected.”

Q: What additional cleaning and hygiene processes are you putting in place?

“Every practitioner has been instructed to regularly clean and disinfect with child safe but effective cleaning products. This also includes high risk contact areas such and doors and handles. Unfortunately, we’ve had to removed activities which could provide a high risk of cross contamination such as sand and water play. As well as practitioners washing their hands more regularly, we are ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to any coughs or sneezes.

Q: I understand that I can’t come into nursery but I’d like to discuss my child’s progress or concerns with someone?

“Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or questions at any time. We continue to be here to support all our families and if you prefer to have a face to face conversation, this can be arranged. Otherwise please ask to speak to myself, Beth or your child’s key worker and we can see you at the nursery entrance.”

Q: What happens if a child or staff member becomes ill whilst at nursery?

“If children or staff develop any symptoms such as a new continuous cough or a high temperature of 37.8 or above, we will take immediate action. Staff will be asked to return home, self isolate and seek a test. We have a dedicated area of the nursery where the children can be taken and cared for by a member of staff who is known to the child until a parent can come and collect them.
I remain in close contact with public health regarding whether or not a child can attend nursery if they have a high temperature caused by teething or any other issue. We have to accept that children can get a temperature or a runny nose and it can simply be a common cold.”

Q: How are you ensuring continuity of care for children across the nursery

“We have worked hard to ensure child ratios have always been maintained throughout this period, with the appropriate amount of staff. We have remained as consistent as possible in providing care to every child. Every child is now assigned their own key worker and in most cases, this is the same practitioner as before lockdown, unless your child has transitioned to a new room due to a birthday or your previous key worker has had a room move. Each room has a solid routine in place which gives security to children throughout the day.”

Q: Will nursery opening times be affected?

“During national lockdown we reduced our opening times closing at 5pm as we had a reduced staff team. At this stage we don’t envisage changing our operational times from 7.30am – 6pm. However, if needed in response to government regulations we would give as much notice as possible regarding any changes.”

Q: I’m considering childcare, will my child have the same settling in process?

“Absolutely, it is of paramount importance to us as a nursery that every child placed in our care is happy and secure in being left at nursery. Your child’s new key worker and room practitioners will still get to know you and your child in the same way. Settling visit’s will be arrange to your needs and extended if necessary to ensure your child is happy and confident in being left at nursery.”

With the recent announcement of a second lockdown due to take effect on Thursday, YMCA Day Nursery would like to provide assurance that we will continue to put the safety of the children and staff at the forefront of everything we do, and we will continue as normal regarding opening times and taking on new registrations if you are looking for childcare.

If you would like more information about our childcare services in North Shields please contact us here.

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