Nurseries up and down the country are looking to reopen this week with new measures set out by the government. Whatever your stance may be, at some point in the future our little ones are going to return to nursery or preschool and, after months of being at home, how can we prepare them with yet another change? We have looked at some helpful ways you can start to get them ready to go back.
Talk about nursery – It would be best to start talking about nursery a few days before. It is normal for children to be apprehensive about going back, therefore we would suggest making some time and taking your normal route to nursery a day or two before they go back, to remind them of the building and surroundings. Remind them of the staff names that look after them and the fun toys you know they like to play with. Some children may become upset, so this is a good opportunity to ease their anxiety and answer any questions. If it becomes too much, leave it for a while and approach another time.
Nursery online portals – Many nurseries have an online portal where parents can see what their children have been up to in the day. These observations are usually based around fun learning activities, and we think it would be a great idea to show your children some of their past pictures and remind them of those fun times.
Implement a great hand washing routine – We know hand washing is key to controlling the spread of virus infections, therefore implementing a consistent handwashing routine would be beneficial before little ones go back to childcare. Teach them how to wash their hands and for how long. Tips on how to do this can be found on the NHS website.
Maintain social distancing – Many nurseries will have provisions for social distancing, such as 2 metre markers on the floor or dropping children off at the door. Keep vigilant and allow a little extra time for drop off so as to allow families in front of you the time to keep a safe distance. This will help to keep everyone stress free, safe and healthy.
Apply sunscreen before you leave – With all this lovely weather we have been having sunscreen is extremely important. Applying it to your little one before they arrive means nursery staff can let little ones reapply it themselves when necessary. Teach your little one how to apply sunscreen next time it’s a sunny day so they get used to doing it. Be sure to cover all exposed areas such as ears and back of neck and let the nursery staff know.
Encourage use of tissues – Much like implementing good hand washing practice, the same for use of tissues is extremely important for the Catch it, Bin it, Kill it message. Keep tissues nearby and easily to hand for unexpected sneezing and coughs. Encourage your little one to use one tissue at a time and then bin it afterwards.
We hope these tips will help prepare you and your little ones for some of the changes and new standards they can expect when returning to their childcare setting.
Good luck and Baa for now x