This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
What about nurseries?(59 Posts)
There's huge speculation on schools going back but what about private nurseries?
How are 1, 2, 3 year old going to social distance?
How will the workforce of parents with young children return to work?
Surely, one parent will have to stay home if these workplaces reopen prior to childcare.
I read something about somewhere (maybe Denmark?) that was putting young children into much smaller groups - so while they weren't social distancing, they always had the same other small group of other young children around them, to reduce spread. Same teacher too. When I think of my daughter's nursery though, it doesn't seem practical as there is no way to zone the kids off from each other...
Our nursery wouldnt have the space for that i dont think they have an outdoor space, 2-4 years room and a baby room.
I can't see it being practical in DS nursery as like yours don't have the space to section off.
I'd feel more comfortable sending my son back to his private day nursery than my daughter back to school. Although the nursery on a busy day has the same number in his preschool as her class they have at least 5 times the space in doors. They also have much better airflow and are able to clean well through out the day. They spend lots of time outside and before closures were keeping the number of children inside low and having more sittings for lunch. By nature of age they also supervise hand washing better and have more washing facilities per child rather than each key stage group sharing a toilet with two sinks. The younger age have smaller amounts in the toddler and baby rooms.
I'm much more concerned with how my daughter's school will cope with 500 plus students and staff than an nursery with a maximum of 60 people in the buildings at their buy day. Pick ups and drop offs are also staggered with only a couple of parents there are the same times rather than 100s all descending at the same time.
I actually never thought if it like that, nursery do have more sinks and space per child than schools so maybe they wont have the same problems as schools as trying to find a way to make it work in the new normal.
My nursey has almost 60 children in pre school alone on the busiest days.
Social distancing will not happen inside.
We have been told that by head office, large chain nursery.
I didnt expect social distance to work as what happens if they need help when have fallen or need help with feeding when they are younger etc.
@GoldenPoppy how do you feel about nursery reopening? If you're not already working with the key worker children?
I work in Early Years and I’m worried about how we are ever going to get open again. I really miss work , I had a great bond with the kids in our class. I’m starting to wonder if they will need to make redundancies though. At the moment in our place there are keyworkers kids in, but it definitely wouldn’t be possible to have all the kids in and have social distancing. I’ve got a feeling I won’t have a job soon
Nurseries and primary schools will nore than likely be exempt from social distancing due to practicalities, and we are seeing this in other countries where lockdowns are being eased. Instead, limiting who the children mix with to their own class, increased hand washing breaks and if in school, eating in classrooms rather than congregating in the hall etc will all reduce contact. There are many businesses that struggle with social distancing, not just schools/nurseries. Providing those who CAN socially distance actually do, it will mitigate those that can't in terms of rate of infection etc.
@missyB1 you will, but social distancing won't apply in the same way as it does in other places. My mother runs a nursery, she is anticipating opening in June when the 12 week point ends and is making plans on how to reduce contact between parents and staff at hangovers etc but is very pragmatic that when caring for babies and toddlers, distancing from them won't and should not happen because of their social and developmental needs.
Handovers, not hangovers! Haha bloody predictive text
Oh I really hope we do open again, I only qualified last year and I still have lots to learn and lots to give. And as OP said parents are going to need childcare again at some point.
To be honest, I don’t want my child constantly being forced to be two metres apart at nursery. It’s not remotely practical & im already starting to worry about the impact on her mental health. She’s already started to panic when she sees people walking towards us & says people are dangerous 😫 we’ve never said anything like that, only gently told her we need to let people past & not get too close but she has a vivid imagination and has clearly exaggerated it in her head! I don’t want that emphasised even more once back in nursery! Sticking to small groups for the majority of the day seems feesible at our nursery and less impacting on the whole!
Our nursery is also preparing for a June re-open but we’ll see.. I hope so though!
I'm glad you asked OP, I'm wondering too.
DS goes to a term time only preschool that's only open mornings and has 18-20 children. I actually think drop off/pick up would be the hardest part for social distancing as the entrance hall is so small, but I suppose they can do staggered drop off and pick up?
When they open, I'd have to accept that if DS goes back he won't be social distancing there.
I guess as the risk to young children is so small that they maybe wouldnt need to adhere to social distancing like in other countries where under 12s dont need to wear masks etc.
I hope you have a job to go back to @missyB1 nursery workers are amazing!
@Bol87 i understand where you are coming from my DS moved into the side of the path in the woods when he seen people approaching today with no direction from myself and stood and let them past, they are very clever and pick up on things without us even realising, but a bit of normality wouldnt go a miss for them.
Our nursery haven't gave us an idea of a date but i presume as soon as there aloud they will re open.
@SpudsAreLife84 thanks for articulating a point I’d read about but have been struggling to explain!
If everyone/business/shop who can socially distance does so, then there will be scope in the ‘model’ the government/scientists are using to model the transmission rate to allow for situations where you can’t socially distance ie nursery, personal care and probably a few more I can’t think of right now
I think our nursery should only take back those who are going to transition to school in september. There's around 30 of them spread over morning and afternoon sessions. The remaining kids are 3 years old who joined the term after their 3rd birthday. It's a school nursery however, so we don't have any younger ones there.
The younger ones still have another year of nursery, but I think the priority should be the 4 year olds due to move to reception. If they split the group and have 15 morning, 15 afternoon, same group each day, I think it would be achievable to keep them separated as the nursery is huge; it is split into two zones with the toilets in the centre, one side for the younger ones and one for the ones due to transition. Pick ups and drops off were already done in the school yard before schools closed, so parents could stand apart and the kids were brought out to you.
I've been wondering about this. My son goes to a private day nursery two mornings a week. He is really missing it, he has delays in some areas of development as well and was doing really well (obviously we are doing what we can at home but we can't provide other children for him to interact with, or do all the things he was doing at nursery). Also he is due to start school in September so I'm very worried about that as well.
When they do reopen part of me wants to take him back as he needs to be there and still has a place until august, but the other part thinks that since I don't need nursery for childcare (I'm a sahm) If I was to keep him home still, that would be one less child in the setting, as I know there are other parents who rely on nursery so they can go to work. I felt the same before lockdown began and wondered if I should keep him home or take him in.
On one hand I'm desperate to go back, Ive remained in close contact with lots of the children and families, I've got over 20 years experience and love my job.
On the other hand I'm classed as vunerable and almost on the shielding category so I'm absolutely terrified, I won't distance from the children in work, when a child needs a hug, they need a hug.
Im scared for my health, scared for my job and missing the children terribly, there's no easy answer.
@SpudsAreLife84 @Blondiecub0109 seems like a reasonable way to explain it and makes a lot of sense, thank you!
@sammy867 I can see you're point but my DS is 2, my DH is a key worker and i am furloughed as my work is a non essential shop so closed. When my store reopens i work full time so DS goes to nursery 3 days a week, so i would have to stay home with DS which is no trouble but a loss of a second income.
@happymummy12345 do what you and your child need, if nursery helps him i would continue to send him when we can, it'll give you a break and help him with development if you're happy to send him!
@GoldenPoppy this will be a difficult time for you thanks for all you do for our children!
DS nursery has four rooms. with about 16 in each on any one day, but with part timers, probably about 25 individuals per room. So up to 100 different families germs to spread
There's so much interaction and so little space I can't see any distancing really happening. Staff are always moving between rooms to cover breaks, the garden is through another room and so on.
I guess the best we could hope for is they do manage an element of segregation between rooms and therefore DS would 'only' be exposed to a smaller number of contacts. Does make me nervous at the prospect, especially as I am pregnant and that seems to be another unknown with this virus.
@Acidrain thank you, I guess I just feel guilty about it when I don't rely on nursery like other parents do. But at the same time my son needs it, especially with him starting school this year (hopefully).
I work in a nursery, we have approx 15 chn in one room and 25 in another and there is no way social distancing can happen. We are still open to key worker children and some days only have 2 or 3 chn but they cannot stay apart from each other or staff. I had a 2 yr old on my lap for 2hrs today playing games and then fell asleep on me so there was no way social distancing could have happened.
I'm stressed about this just for the uncertainty for my DC and the financial burden too. DH is a keyworker and I work PT too, our DC is under 2 and though I am mostly WFH, my employer is not flexible and I need to take calls uninterrupted, meet all my targets etc which is not possible whilst caring for DC. Our nursery said it was going to stay open for key workers' children. It did that for one week and then said it was not viable and closed! Cue huge panic and we had to move her temporarily to another nursery. I feel awful about this and have found it so stressful worrying about DC. They seem to have settled in very quickly but it can't have been stress free for them! Our original nursery confirmed we would pay no fees for April. Now they are saying they can't access the furlough reimbursement money so we need to pay 25 per cent fees for May in order to guarantee priority for our DC when they reopen, which they expect will be a phased reopening of smaller groups. So we will be paying more for childcare every month than before even though DC only goes to the new nursery 2 days a week as opposed to 3. We can just about manage this financially considering we are saving on our general spending not being able to go out places etc. But it's still stressful and galling. On top of that, the new nursery said they were trying to tie people in til August! We haven't signed any contract with them and confirmed we will pay fees for May but no more at present. They're not running at capacity at all and are funded by the hospital so I can't believe that. Then there is the worry that our normal nursery could reopen but not prioritise our DC so we'd have been paying the fees for no gain, which will presumably happen if a large amount of parents pay, which I'm this area, I imagine they will. Or if we have repeated lockdowns etc in future then our nursery could close again and we'd have to move DC again and the effect all this disruption is having on her attachment, development and mental health etc. Just so stressful the whole thing.
Join the discussion
Please login first.