Flexible ways of settling in - Bubbles Nurseries

Please note that all the content on this page was correct at the time of writing (August 2020). Guidance on Coronavirus may have changed so while the content is still useful, please refer to the latest guidance when reading.

Amanda from Bubbles Nurseries talks about how they have managed an open day during the pandemic and precautions they have put in place.

During the pandemic we have held one open day, and have three more booked. We find this is a great way to limit the number of people visiting at any one time, and allows us to ensure that everyone can be socially distanced while in the building.

In order to ensure the first open day went as smoothly as possible, we spent a lot of time completing a comprehensive plan and risk assessment of every element of the day; from what staff would be required to do in advance of arriving in the morning, to how we would deal with the waste from the day. We considered different scenarios for staff and our visitors, and put in place procedures for how we would handle a variety of situations, such as if a family arrived with visible symptoms.

We limited visitors by staggering arrival times by 15 minutes; each family had a 30 minute time slot in order to view the building and ask us questions. Adult visitors were asked to come wearing a mask and gloves, and we provided shoe coverings on arrival. We chose to use a set route around the nursery, which meant that with a maximum of two groups on-site at any one time, they would not meet or cross paths. Where possible doors were held open to discourage visitors from touching the handles, and we used a one way system so parents arrived at the front door, and after the tour left via the back gate.

Some of our usual open day activities were decided against, in order to keep things as low-risk as possible. For instance, we didn’t host any activities as we felt this would encourage visitors to ‘hang around’ and it would therefore be difficult to manage. However, we were confident that we could demonstrate what we do using displays, photos, and through the communication between the staff members and visitors. The resources on display were chosen as they are ‘easy clean’ and we discouraged visitors form actually touching them. However, we also had a plan in place should anything be handled, which would result in it being removed immediately after the visit.

In order to provide further insight into what we do at Bubbles, we created a newsletter which details activities and news from over the whole year, and we have been directing people to our Facebook page. We also have a number of current families who kindly gave us permission to share their contact details with prospective parents who had questions following the open day. We felt this was important, as new parents don’t currently have the opportunity to see the nursery in action, so another parent’s view would be a good insight into nursery life.

Given how very different these open days are from our usual, interactive events, we have been amazed at the level of interest. Following the first open day we received both positive feedback, and a large number of bookings - for this reason we decided to go ahead and book in more and we’re excited to safely welcome more families in to Bubbles Nurseries.

Resources from PACEY

Free transitions training
Looking for accessible, interactive, bitesize training to support transitions and settling in? CEY smart has a whole series of short courses aimed at supporting children and their parents through the hellos, the goodbyes, and some of the other challenges we all face when things change.

Top 10 Tips
If you’re looking for practical solutions to help make your settling-in process Covid compliant, then check out this list of clever ideas, all suggested by working early years practitioners, that you can implement in your setting.