When will nurseries reopen? Everything you need to know about childcare after lockdown

This week, The London Preschool Group featured in an interview with The Evening Standard. Please read the article below:

Restarting childcare is seen as an essential step to allow parents to return to work after weeks in lockdown.

Education editor Anna Davis explains how nurseries and childminders are preparing to welcome youngsters back from June 1, and the measures being put in place to ensure the safety of children and staff.

Can I have a nanny?

Yes, paid-for childcare is allowed in a child’s home.

Can I have a babysitter?

Yes. Paid childcare can be provided to the children of one household.

Can I send my children to nursery?

Nurseries and other childcare settings have been told by the government to welcome back all children below school age from June 1.

This is the same date that primary schools have been asked to open for children in reception, year one and year six, and their school nurseries.

The department for education believes demand for childcare will be lower than usual at first, and this will enable them to do more work in small groups.

Can I send my child to the childminder?

Yes, soon. From June 1 childminders can look after children of all ages, in line with the usual limits on the number of children they can care for.

Before that, childminders can look after children from the same household.

Will nursery children be expected to socially distance?

Department for education guidance acknowledges that very young children cannot be expected to remain two metres apart from each other and staff at all times.

To minimise transmission, nurseries are advised to keep children in smaller groups and keep those smaller groups apart from each other.

How can I cope with a house full of young children until my nursery reopens?

Some experts advise sticking to a daily routine so children know what to expect each day.

But, with working parents trying to squeeze in work, cleaning, home schooling, cooking and exercise each day, a routine could just add to the stress.

Other experts advise taking things day by day – or minute by minute if needs be.

Most education experts tell parents to be kind to themselves and not feel guilty.

Anne Sheldon, CEO of The London Preschool group of nurseries said: “It’s tough juggling it all – work, children, housework and meals- but we are only two weeks away from nurseries and schools re-opening.

“Be kind to yourself and don’t be unrealistic in your expectations, we are all only human.

“Keep a sense of humour and in the time dedicated to your children be there for them and responsive.”

She recommends splitting the day up into times to have fun with your children and time to work while they watch TV or do an activity within sight of you.

Many nurseries have provided home learning activities. Some that are freely available include winchmorepreschool.co.uk or wandsworthpreschool.co.uk.

What if my child is at a school nursery?

Primary schools will reopen at the earliest on June 1.

The first children to return will be those in nursery, reception, year one and year six.

What will happen to children in different school year groups?

All primary aged children will return before the summer holidays for one month if feasible.

Secondary schools have been told to prepare for some face to face contact with year ten and 12 pupils, who are due to sit GCSEs and A-levels next year.

What benefits are there to sending children back to nursery or school?

Parents will be able to return to work. Those already working from home will be able to focus on their jobs.

Some children have not played with or spoken to another child their age for many weeks.

Being back at nursery or school will help boost their social skills and could reduce loneliness and importantly it will probably be more fun than being at home.

Even the best online learning systems do not compare to being in the classroom with a teacher.

The learning gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children is growing wider during the lockdown, and more vulnerable children are losing out.

Unfortunately, some children are safer at school or nursery than they are at home.

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