Going to nursery after coronavirus

When your baby or toddler goes to nursery, it can be emotional for both of you. This is especially the case after lockdown, as your little one will have spent the last few months exclusively with you.

Unlike school, it is your decision whether you send your baby or toddler to nursery or a childminder. However, attending childcare can help provide a routine as young children develop their social skills.

Child stacking blocks

What are nurseries doing to be safe?

  • Each nursery and childminder will have their own health and safety risk assessment.
  • But they will likely be ensuring that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, doing more regular cleaning and minimising contact where possible.
  • With babies and toddlers, social distancing is almost impossible so it is likely that the nursery or childminder will focus on having smaller groups, or ‘bubbles’.
  • Some nurseries may stagger or adjust start and finish times. This helps keep groups apart as they arrive and leave the nursery.
  • You may also have to drop your child off at the gate or door, instead of taking them in.
  • Speak to your nursery if you have any worries or concerns about what they are doing to reduce the risk.

Going to nursery

  • Your presence can often make it harder for your child to settle. If you can, hand your child over and say goodbye. Save your tears for when they can’t see you!
  • Make sure your baby or toddler goes to the settling in sessions that your nursery offer – this helps you both get used to the nursery.
  • Before they start, you could try meeting up with friends so that your child gets used to seeing other babies and children again.
  • If your child is returning to nursery, you could try practising your journey at the time that other children are arriving so that they see happy faces.
  • Have a good chat with the nursery before they start. This will help them understand a bit more about your child’s needs, likes and dislikes. Especially if these have changed since they were last in the nursery.
  • Most nurseries are happy for you to call during the day when your child first starts so that you can ask how they are doing.
  • Trust the staff and more importantly, trust your child to begin to form attachments to people outside your immediate family.
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