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Early Years Managers Forum 17th June 2020

 June 18, 2020   |   comments


Some staff were finding the distancing difficult

Parents are not allowed in the building and was difficult – some nurseries put the groups into two sessions –and ask the morning parents to leave in one gate and get others coming in through another entrance. It’s gone from relaxed to regimented. 

We’ve told parents they have to tell their child but it’s difficult on the first few days.

It’s important for children to stay on dots and keep their distance but none of the children find this easy.


A bubble in a nursery is up 16 children maximum. In that 16 some of them may be part time so not there every day.

First challenge was setting up the bubbles and working with the parents and getting an idea of children that wanted to come back at this point.  Secondly organising the dates and

Do you increase the number of children in the bubble or do you create a new bubble?

The challenges this week are as more parents are sending their children and more staff are being brought back to work – the risk gets higher.  This is doubly worrying today because the COVID deaths have risen slightly. 

It’s important as nursery managers to get a further plan B in place in case there is any change to the guidelines. 

Now is the time to be extra vigilant about cleaning and where the bubbles are.

Are the staff social distancing in their bubbles.

We need to make sure the children are not mixing and the resources are being sanitised and shared.  It’s a challenge.

The parents sometimes find the new one-way systems tricky to navigate and so it’s essential to get the message across to everyone about the importance of social distancing – even as role models to the children. 


Different people believe in the virus in different ways.  Some people are more vigilant than others.

A lot of children are a-symptomatic so it’s the adults that are the bigger risk because the children can transmit it to others. 

Some parents are travelling on buses and people are saying that although it is mandatory that people wear a mask – not everyone is going it. 


Some parents have lost their jobs putting pressure on them.

We’ve also said that all the communication will be done online via a portal because it’s tricky to get them to follow the guidelines and have the chats with them at pick up.

Some nurseries cannot offer the whole provision – so it can be pressure to get the reshuffle to support parents going back to work.

The challenge is also getting new enquiries and how that will work with the limited provision

We’ve been asked to go back so quickly and the risk gets higher the more risk

It’s also how are the parents travelling to and from work – as sterile we’re making it – how distanced are they?

How many parents are been social distancing, been in shops, on marches?  It’s difficult to work it out because we don’t know who they are catching up with.

Some nurseries asked if the parents signed anything – no one did but it was said that the risk assessments were sent out and staff agreed to the risk assessments. 


Things feel sterile and cold feeling – it’s not the normal thing for a nursery.

If children want colours you have to get extra stuff one at a time and check it’s been wiped.

It’s such a lot of work for small things.


It’s so difficult to get good guidance – understanding and adding to policies has been challenging because things keep changing.  The local authority has been good but it’s tricky because sometimes things are changing daily and keeping up with it all is tricky.

The guidelines were given too quickly and very little time to put them into practise.

Sterilisation and quantity of sterilising adds extra pressure

Even when part of the council as a nursery or it’s in a council building it’s difficult to get extra resources. 

There is no support with PPE or support with sterilisation. 

It would have been better if the local councils gave out risk assessments that everyone could work with. 

Schools are getting extra funding but nurseries aren’t getting extra funding. 

You got the impression that if you didn’t open on 1st then funding will be affected.

They said if you don’t open by July then your funding might be affected.

The government have let us down.

Food poverty is also high – fair share is helping with food.


They have let up with the EYFS it’s gone from a daily to a weekly plan because it’s just too challenging with the extra work.

Plan B

It’s important to constantly update the guidelines eg if it’s a temperature – it might be a minor ailment in a young child – but they would have to get a test.  Young children get temperatures for all reasons – so its navigating when to close the bubble or not.

However if they have a cough the baby and the bubble will to self isolate and the room will need to be closed until the test result comes back. 

It’s also tricky – one child in one of the nurseries had hayfever – what do you do when they have hayfever symptoms? 

It’s easier to get a test if you go through the drive through tests but the post ones are taking a long time.  One parent booked it on Friday.  The test arrived on Saturday but couldn’t pick up until Tuesday and then the results came through on Thursday.

Drive through is efficient but not all parents drive.


It’s difficult to get a child to wear a mask and the children want to pull at them.  In some ways babies will want to pull at them if they’re on the staff.  It’s more that babies are more likely to touch the face of the staff.