A cautious re-opening of nurseries

Please allow nurseries to present their ideas on how they plan to operate in the ‘new future’. We all know things can’t go back to what they were, however kids shouldn’t be kept home from nurseries for an excessive amount of time. Nurseries should be allowed to put ideas in place (staggered drop off times for children in different nursery groups, a queuing system, parents not allowed in the building, a smaller number of children per key workers - I’m sure nurseries will have many more ideas!). Parents can then make their own decisions on whether they send their children back full time, part time or not at all and make payment arrangements with nurseries as appropriate. Perhaps trials can be made where certain groups of children are allowed to come in first and the numbers of perceived infections monitored before the next group. Please also consider the case for families where one parent is not a key worker working with Covid-19: they are likely to have to singlehandedly care of the child(ren) as well as try and work from home while their partners are out working shifts away from home. Families such as this should be allowed to send their children to nursery if they wish to.

Why the contribution is important

Many young children benefit from the attention and socialisation they receive at nursery. While some may be only children with parents able to fill the gap left by nursery being closed, some may be in multiple child families with both parents trying to work from home, or possibly even where one parent is s key worker working away from home leaving the other parent to manage both childcare and work on their own. This is before considering the long term effects of the stress these situations cause, particularly where there are money worries, existing mental health problems etc. Allowing nurseries to implement new measures and offering parents the choice of whether to send their children back to nursery alleviates some of this pressure. It also allows children to see their friends and continue invaluable learning in a setting that is primed for it, especially if many other places children could be taken to such as soft play, museums, pools, and play parks are to remain closed.

by RitaH1981 on May 05, 2020 at 06:46PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.1
Based on: 25 votes


  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 19:02

    Nurseries are critical to child development, and their continuing closure will have significant long-term ramifications for an entire generation of youngsters.

    The epidemiological benefits of persisting with the blanket closure of nurseries are so weak as to be negligible by comparison.
  • Posted by annefran May 05, 2020 at 19:04

    The only addition I would make to this is to ensure the staff are able to be tested and have their households tested on a regular basis and any appropriate PPE would be in place.
  • Posted by Pandamamma May 05, 2020 at 19:26

    I agree with nurseries being able to try and approach a reopening, as a parent of a two year old I am concerned about the effects of continued isolation from their peers and structured learning has on them, I am also a working mother, who is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain working from home and full time childcare. I’m sure as other areas of work start to open up there will be many more parents who will need to find a childcare solution to be able to return to work
  • Posted by Laura89 May 06, 2020 at 01:04

    I disagree, nurseries require similar levels of care to that of a care home and are often similar sized in relation to have many people oer square footing.
    You only have to look at a chicken pox outbreak in a nursery to see how quickly things would spread.
    At one point there were o ly 5 children in my childs nursery who weren't off with chicken pox
  • Posted by Carmelite May 06, 2020 at 10:18

    I agree. I am fortunate enough to currently be on maternity leave, but if my workplace re-opens and my childcare provider does not, then I will be in a very difficult position - my employer is generally very flexible, but my job cannot be done from home. I also have worries about sending my children back into childcare and the risk of exposing them to infection, however I’m not sure that Covid-19 can be compared to, for example, chickenpox outbreaks as it appears to spread very differently and affect children to a different degree. I think what we really need is information. If the government let us know what their plans are regarding when and how childcare may be allowed to re-open then that will allow us to make plans and to at least keep our employers informed in the meantime.
  • Posted by LornaA May 06, 2020 at 20:37

    As a member of staff who is at high risk, I am very cautious regarding opening up nurseries too soon, I understand that parents need us to be able to work, but to be honest I worry about the spread of infections, yes there have been little or no cases of Covid 19 reported in any key hubs, but will this be the same when the children, parents and carers return?
  • Posted by LMC May 08, 2020 at 11:13

    I completely disagree with reopening Nursery Establishments too early, I think this could be detrimental. Most Nurseries have high capacities of children and staffing in place and although cases of Covid-19 are low in children they can still be carriers of the virus! Young children also don't understand social distancing measures or how important it is to not cough or sneeze over staff. This also puts staff at risk and their families too. When you look at any form of virus that's been present within a nursery environment you will see it spreads very quickly indeed!
  • Posted by TAR27 May 08, 2020 at 17:25

    This is such a difficult decision to weigh up. I agree with a previous comment that without testing we are not well equipped either to judge the current risk or to monitor the levels of risk if children should go back to nursery. Personally, as things stand now I would not yet choose to send my child back. He is an only child and both my partner and I are working from home. We miss the care and socialisation our son gets at nursery but we can just about manage as we are now, I realise that for many others (keyworkers, multiple children, single parents) the pressures are different and much greater.
  • Posted by Cerins May 08, 2020 at 18:02

    Please also consider the mental health of parents.

    We are working full time and raising young children without any support.

    Two weeks in to lockdown I was depressed to the point of having suicidal thoughts. Clearly this was detrimental to both me and my child.

    Even a few hours a week at a nursery would have given us both the support we need to get through this.

    Trust nurseries and parents to make the right decisions for themselves.
  • Posted by lmp123 May 09, 2020 at 05:57

    As most of the evidence supports that younger children are at less of a risk then I believe that as some nurseries are already open and coping during the pandemic caring for the the children of Key Workers, then it makes sense to support a gradual increase in attendance. This would hugely support working parents to work more effectively and have less stress. It would mean when children are at home they can have quality time together benefitting both parent and child.

    Nurseries generally operate to stringent procedures and those operating for key worker children are currently operating to different procedures such as those above and these are working effectively.

    It is crucial to the well being and development of young children that they have opportunities to play and socialise, the longer we remain in full lock down the more harm we may be causing to the future generation.
  • Posted by JuliaM May 11, 2020 at 08:27

    As a working single parent (many years ago), I cannot imagine how working parents are coping without childcare or the support of family.
  • Posted by Daisyh May 11, 2020 at 19:32

    I just want to know if the same discussion/debate is taking place about reopening schools??
    Why would it be okay reopen nurseries but not schools? Yet again the Early Years sector isn't viewed in the same professional light as school education. And why is this? This is where the Early Years Sector needs to step up and make themselves heard. Difference is, school aged children will have a better understanding and comprehension around social distancing and it would be so much easier to implement at that age. How are you meant to implement social distancing with children under the age of 5? Where is the care, nurture, attachment and everything else that is crucial at that age? Sorry, but that will be pretty impossible to implement. Where's the nurture in just dropping your wee one at the door and not allowing parents in?
    And has anyone thought about the impact it would have on these young children seeing practitioners in PPE equipment? How scary must that be for them? How would it be a safe, nurturing, welcoming, secure, inviting, stimulating and fun environment for children when they are faced with practitioners in PPE?! Can you imagine the impact that level of stress will have on children? It's massive!
    Absolutely understand working parents are overwhelmed and stressed but I think it is important to understand the risks Practitioners will be facing too. They too have families, underlying health conditions etc.
    This is impacting everyone.
    I completely agree when the spread of chicken pox can go like wildfire imagine the impact COVID19 could have.
    Those who believe it only attacks the older generation is mistaken.
    I think it is absolutely vital to make sure it is absolutely and utterly safe for children, Practitioners and parents to return to have the least negative impact on our children.
  • Posted by AL80 May 11, 2020 at 20:10

    I would echo that and add that it would be no means be compulsory that parents send their children back to nursery if they feel they shouldn’t however I strongly believe that our children will benefit from even a couple of hours interaction with their peers rather than total isolation. Their mental health and that of parents is equally important.
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