Helen thanked the team for all their efforts which she said, “meant that whilst there have been three individual cases of Covid-19 during the year, not one of them transmitted to anyone else within our nursery family.
‘This means that you must all be following all policy and procedure in maintaining – hands, face, space, keeping your uniforms spotless and following both company and government guidelines. ‘I for one, am so proud of each and every one of you”. Congratulations and PLEASE keep up the good work. I am proud to be part of such an amazing working family”.
The Playroom remained open during the first lockdown for their own key-worker children, and also supported other families when their nurseries had to close, meaning that key-worker parents have enjoyed continuous care and most children returned to the Playroom on the 1 June when they could.
This led one parent to say “In such uncertain times, it is so wonderful to have the stability and support of nursery. We are proud to be part of the Playroom family. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts”.
Another added: “We cannot thank you enough. During a year where we have been unable to see grandparents and friends, nursery has been a constant and we don’t know what we would have done without you”.
A third said: “We are always met with a smile in the morning when we drop off and our child always leaves with a smile when we come to pick her up.
“They have made us feel safe in the knowledge that she is safe and happy at nursery…they have made that part of our week feel very normal in what has been a far from normal year”.
The Playroom team maintained communications with the children, during the lockdown, via social networking with a range of innovative and inspirational activities so that the children still felt part of nursery life.
This led to comments such as “Thank you so very much for everything you have done over the last 12 bonkers months.
From the very start of the pandemic, the amount of dedication you have shown all of the children in your care has been truly astounding. You went over and above in the early days to keep them connected to their friends and yourselves, stimulated and feeling special.
Setting challenges, sharing songs and videos, their faces really did light up every time they saw you on Facebook”.
Another parent talking about the pandemic said “Even when things changed beyond our imagination in 2020 you were a constant for them. We are so grateful for the way you seemed to take it in your stride and always put the children and their happiness first”.
The excited team, thrilled with this “amazing” surprise, are looking forward to using the money in a range of different ways from; a new phone, special holiday, decking/patio for a new house amongst others.
They talk about how appreciated they feel and how much they enjoy their jobs. One told Helen “You made me feel so good and reassured me that I’m part of a special team lead by a special Childcare Director and Managers.
We all did so good through this pandemic because we are a Team”. A second; “I love working at the playroom. I have strong bonds with my key group and get on well with my team.
It is a very supporting work environment and my confidence has definitely grown while working here. There are always lots of opportunities too for CPD. I love being part of the Playroom family”.
A third staff member who has been with the nursery over eight years confirmed “All I can say is I love it, it is such a great team to be part of and there is so much room to progress and expand yourself. No 2 days are ever the same. I love how we stick with the children throughout and the bonds we build are just amazing. There is lots of support too if needed with many aspects of life or the job.
The Playroom is a very happy place for the children and they love it. We are well resourced and if we need anything it isn’t hesitated to get”. A fourth; “I know I’m part of a special team, but this made me feel over the moon. It’s so nice to know there are still nice people in this crazy world”.
When the Playroom re-opened back in June, the majority of children back from day one. Helen put in place separate provision for the pre-schoolers at her wboosc kids club building, to give children in the Playroom nursery plenty of space.
When the pre-schoolers left last August, Helen made the decision to keep numbers of children low for the remainder of the pandemic to ensure their safety, which has definitely worked. The doors will be opening to new babies and children from September.