Welcome back to everyone that came back at the beginning of the month, we have missed you all so much! It’s been a lovely couple of weeks settling back in and getting to spend some quality time with the children in small ‘bubble groups’ also being able to explore the outdoor space we have been so fortunate with the beautiful weather. Please continue to view our website for updates on the new building and to see the many exciting activities the children have been up to since returning. Once the new building is finished, we estimate that will be early July, we hope to show you a virtual tour. We also are planning to have appointments so that you can view the new facilities. We thank you so much for your understanding throughout all this. As you will have seen we have now erected a large marquee in the front garden this is to support our social distancing and provide the children with as much outdoor play as possible. This area is being used mainly for the preschool children that will be leaving us in September.
Thank you too, to everyone returning that has supported us by signing the declaration forms and completing the All about me sheets, this has been a valuable tool in settling the children back into the setting. Also thank you for the many lovely comments, the team that have come back have worked incredibly hard with managing the risks alongside cleaning the environment and supporting the children’s needs and interests.
We have shared with you our new 4 week summer menu each week, which we have adapted temporarily to provide the children with a healthy, balanced and varied diet yet easy to provide whilst we only have some of our team back. If over the last few months your child has developed any allergies, intolerances or even strong food likes or dislikes, please let us know this information as it is especially important for us to know. For any new parents interested in enrolling their children we are now moving to a new online prospectus, this will also be available to view for all parents and will include all our policies and procedures, and will be available on the web site by the end of July.
Sadly we have had to say good bye to several members of our team, this was not an easy decision, but we wanted First Steps to be able to survive in these uncertain times, and for this reason we have had to carry out redundancies, which as you can imagine involved a lot of tears from both myself and Ruth. This impacted on some very valued members of our team one of whom has been with us for almost 19 years but due to the reduction in children numbers we had no other option but to accept voluntary redundancy from Ruth Miles and Vicky Watson, which we were incredibly grateful for. After getting in touch with many of our families we soon realised many of you due to cuts in working hours were not able return with the same sessions.
Also, this time of year is normally our busiest term, getting many of our preschool children ready for school and showing the new starters for September around. However due to the pandemic and being closed for the last 8 weeks we have not had the opportunity to show new families our setting. We hope now that we are back open again, we will start to fill up again. Sadly, in the light of this we have also had to say good-bye to Paige White and Lauren Penny, as soon as we are able to, we will have a leavers party, for everyone to say goodbye and wish them success and happiness for the future.
On a much lighter note Dani and Luke are expecting their first baby in September, Dani will be with us until Mid-July, replacing Dani for the next few months we are delighted to welcome Charlotte Ingram, who will be joining us from Wells Cathedral preschool she has teaching qualifications and a Degree in Early years.
Please can you make sure you have emailed us your child’s allocated school for September so we can work closely with the local schools to support the transition and provide some sort of transition document to relay any information.
Please may we remind parents to bring a wipeable bag with labelled spare clothes and a sun hat.
Please may we also remind all returning families that we are still not permitting toys from home into the setting. Thank you to everyone that adhered to this before the lockdown.
While we are limiting contact we have stopped our original system of reporting accidents for the foreseeable future we will be emailing you about accidents with an attached picture and we would be very grateful if you could confirm that you have received the email. We will still telephone for any head bumps. If your child has any accidents or injuries at home, please email us prior to their session. This system is also in place for any medicines, if your child needs Calpol or has any doctors prescribed medication please follow the risk assessment instructions, put them together with a signed note with the amount and times to be given in a sealed plastic bag and e mail us to say it’s in their bag so that we can carry out your instructions and e mail you once this has been carried out.
We once again thank you all for all your help and support at this time keep safe and I am sure we will all get through this, sending everyone a big virtual hug from all the team.