Nursery & Early Years News April 2021
Lateral Flow Tests Available for all Nursery Staff as of 21st March 2021
As of 22nd March 2021, all staff from private voluntary and independent (PVI) nurseries will have access to twice-weekly Lateral Flow Device/Tests (LFD) to use at home before they travel to work. The team at The Flowers are taking advantage of this and are all now taking an LFD test twice a week which will help prevent the spread of coronavirus within our nursery and our local community.
A lateral flow device (LFD) is a quick and easy way for people to test themselves even if they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms. The tests give results in just 30 minutes and are key to stopping the spread of the virus within our communities. If you have a positive test result from an LFD you must immediately self isolate to prevent the spread of the virus and arrange a full COVID-19 test to be delivered to your home, or attend an official test centre to be tested.
This is a welcome breakthrough for the Early Years Sector (EYS) who have been campaigning for all settings to be treated in the same way as nurseries that are linked to schools that have been provided with Lateral Flow Testing kits for their staff since December 2020.
Prior to the change, home asymptomatic test kits (LFD’s) were only available to maintained nurseries and early years settings linked to schools. Other private and voluntary nurseries and early years settings only had access to priority testing at community test centres.
Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said: "After months of sector lobbying, today's announcement will come as welcome, though long overdue, news for private and voluntary nurseries and pre-schools – although many will be understandably frustrated they will have to wait a full month for this change to come into effect.
"As the number of COVID reports from early years settings continues to rise, it's clear the whole sector, without exception, must have access to home testing kits as soon as possible.
"At every stage of this crisis, PVI early years providers have had to fight to get the support they need to continue operating as safely as possible. It is incredibly disappointing that what should be a positive announcement for the sector has been undermined by more unequal treatment of hard-working early years professionals.”
'We hope the roll-out of this plan can happen as soon as possible'
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA said: “There are two crucial pillars to keeping staff and children as safe as possible in early years settings, mass rapid testing and vaccination of critical workers. The announcement that all staff in PVI nurseries and pre-school settings will have the same access to testing as schools is fantastic news for the sector.
“We have worked hard alongside our members to ensure the practical and logistical challenges are overcome. Early years staff have been desperately waiting for this support since the scheme for schools was announced in December.
"We hope the roll-out of this plan can happen as soon as possible so early years workers can test at home before setting off to work, limiting the spread of the virus."
The Early Years Alliance and the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has called on the government for early years workers to be prioritised for vaccinations as part of the next phase of the vaccination delivery plan. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock took advice from The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI and has said that to ensure the pace of the rollout is maintained, vaccinations will continue to be offered by age group, starting with those aged 40-49. As a result of this, the government has made the decision not to offer vaccinations to nursery staff as part of phase 2 of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout which has been widely condemned within the sector.
The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. As a registered educational charity, they represent 14,000 members supporting them to deliver care and learning to over 800,000 families each year.
The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is a national charity that aims to enhance the development and education of children in their early years, through the provision of support services to members.
Young Children More Likely to Catch COVID-19 at Home Compared to an Early Years Setting
Academics in France have recently published research that shows that young children aged between five months and four years old are more likely to catch COVID-19 at home compared to an Early Year’s Setting. The research has also shown that early years staff not being at higher risk of catching the virus compared to the rest of the population after low levels of infection were found in nurseries.
The research included children and staff who attended 22 nurseries in France during their nationwide lockdown between 15th March and 9th May 2020. In total, the study included 327 children and 197 nursery workers and the research was published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
Details of the research can be found here: https://www.daynurseries.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1642568/Children-more-likely-to-catch-COVID-19-at-home-than-nursery?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DN%20Newsletter%20March%202021&utm_content=DN%20Newsletter%20March%202021+CID_a2c5db98a60f7bef68ed4b5f47d9d5e4&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Children%20more%20likely%20to%20catch%20COVID-19%20at%20home%20than%20at%20nursery
The Flowers Nursery
The Flowers Day Nursery is committed to keeping their children, staff and parents safe and we are taking all the steps necessary to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
We are continuing with:
Our vigorous cleaning of the nursery every day
Cleaning of surfaces and items that the children are touching frequently including sinks and toilets
We have removed unnecessary items and ones which are difficult to clean from our learning environments
Hand sanitisers are available throughout the nursery and we are asking the children to regularly wash their hands as part of their new routine, including when they arrive, before and after eating and after sneezing or coughing
We are using the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ mantra with bins located around the nursery rooms for tissue waste which are emptied regularly
We are keeping the setting well ventilated, opening windows and spending time outdoors in our lovely garden as the weather allows us to
We are limiting how many children use the toilet facilities at one time
We are asking that if possible only one parent or carer drops off or picks up
We are staggering lunchtimes and snack times and they are vigorously cleaned after each sitting
Where we can, the children and staff are being kept within bubbles
Our team are not required to wear face masks, however, they are following strict social distancing guidelines
We are asking that any children, staff or parents who have symptoms of COVID-19 follow the government’s isolation guidance
Government pledges £18 Million to Help Nursery Children Catch up with Language & Missed Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns
The UK Government has agreed that £18m will be given to early years settings to aid children’s recovery after the pandemic.
The recovery fund has been pledged to support language development as well as helping disadvantaged children who may need to catch up with the learning they have missed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The money can be used for either 121 or small group programmes for those children who may need it. It can also be used to support the development of disadvantaged children in any early years settings, as well as summer provision for children who need it the most.
The £18 million is part of a £700m plan from the UK government's education recovery package.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Teachers and parents have done a heroic job with homeschooling, but we know the classroom is the best place for our children to be.
“When schools re-open and face to face education resumes on 8 March, our next priority will be ensuring no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year.
“This extensive programme of catch-up funding will equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to support their pupils and give children the opportunities they deserve to learn and fulfil their potential.”
NB: 'The early year’s sector was not consulted on this recovery fund'
The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is worried about the lack of consultation with the sector and they are asking for more clarity from the government to confirm who will be able to apply for the funding.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, will be engaging with teachers, and families over the coming weeks and months to develop longer-term plans.
Mr Williamson added: “Our package of measures will deliver vital support to the children and young people who need it most, making sure everyone has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential no matter their background.
“I know that longer-term support over the length of this parliament will be vital to ensure children make up for lost learning.”
Nursery Children in Walmersley Raise Nearly £1k in Memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore
On a more positive note children from Tiddlywinks Day Nursery in Walmersley have joined together and raised nearly £1,000 walking 100 laps of their nursery garden in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The children and staff secured sponsorship of £984 and completed 100 laps of the nursery garden, walking, marching, skipping, hopping and dancing around the garden over the course of the week having lots of fun taking part.
Jenny Smillie, head of Early Years Education at the Tiddlywinks Day Nursery group, said: “They wanted to show their love and appreciation for this very special man.
About The Flowers Nursery Swansea
At the Flowers Nursery, we offer exceptional and flexible childcare from 3 months through to preschool age, including local school pick-ups and drop-offs. We accept all major Childcare Vouchers and have full-day and half-day places available.
We have an exceptional team of fully qualified and experienced childcare professionals and we believe in teaching social skills and values, compassion and understanding and an appreciation of the world in which we live, learning through play and a more structured environment in our pre-school classes.
The most conveniently located day nursery in Swansea if you work or travel through the city centre.
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