Covid-19 : Nursery Re-Opening Plan 2020

This is the re-opening plan for Plume Avenue Nursery ... there have been some minor changes from what was put on here at the beginning of term, these are indicated in red.



The objective of this plan is to share with parents / carers, staff and Plume Avenue United Reformed Church how the nursery will manage the return of children from 7th September 2020.


Re-opening Plan

Subject to the Government maintaining current guidelines with regard to the opening of early years settings, Plume Avenue Nursery will follow the plan outlined below. This is of course subject to change and subject to any additional restrictions that may be required by our 'landlords', Plume Avenue United Reformed Church.

Current guidance states that there is no need to restrict number of pre-schoolers into smaller groups within the setting, however this may be subject to change. If we have staff absence, this plan may also have to change and may result in reduced opening hours across the week. We will endeavour to keep everyone informed of any changes as quickly as possible. It is imperative that contact details (telephone and email) are kept up to date.


Drop off & Pick Up

At this time, we do not plan to have staggered drop off and pick up times, however this again may be subject to change based on how well the procedures are followed.

In the morning, a member of staff will be at the main entrance to the church at the side gate and will check the temperature of each child as they arrive. The gate to the paddock (garden area) will be open and children will come into the garden with their parents. There is an automatic hand-gel dispenser which we ask you use to clean your child's hands as they come in.

Please follow the social distancing guidelines and remain at least two metres from other families throughout the drop off period and keep your child(ren) with you.

We retain the right to refuse entry to the nursery if you do not comply with this request.

We appreciate that this may mean a longer wait to get your child into nursery - unfortunately, we are unable to open earlier than 9.00am so we will be as quick as we can - please bear with us.

Another member of staff will be positioned at the hand-wash station by the rear door.

Your child will be supported to wash their hands before entering the building. Please place their lunchbox on the table provided and hang your child's bag and coat on their named peg. All these items will be sprayed with mild disinfectant before they are brought into the building. A member of staff wearing gloves will take their lunchbox, change bag and coat from you.

NO PARENTS / CARERS will be allowed in the church building at any time.

We also appreciate that some children, especially as they have not been apart from you for some months now may struggle to settle back into nursery. We will do our utmost to make them feel welcome and safe but as we are unable to allow parents/carers into the building we may have to ask you to come back to collect them if they do not settle rather than stay with them as you would normally. This would of course be a 'last resort'.

It is our intention to try and settle any distressed children in the garden area with you before you leave - this will be reviewed as we go along.

Please try to have only one parent/carer per child dropping off or collecting AND please endeavour to stick to the normal drop off (9.00am) and collection times (12.30pm & 3.30pm). Being prompt is going to be extremely important.

If you are waiting for your child, please either remain in your car until necessary, and when walking to and inside the garden area, keep at least 2 metres apart from any other person, do not congregate as part of a group either outside the setting or in the garden area.

At the end of the day the children will be brought into the garden by a member of staff to meet their parent / carer.

Please continue to abide by social distancing guidelines at all times.

The office will be open for the usual hours and staffed during the day to answer calls.

If you need to speak to us, please do so either by telephone (01206 579458) or by email (



As normal, your child will bring a packed lunch from home in a clearly labelled lunchbox. This will be taken from you by a member of staff wearing gloves and This will be wiped over before being stored safely until lunchtime. Please also provide your child with a drink, preferably water in a clearly labelled bottle that they know is theirs.

To reduce the chances of any cross contamination by having to open lots of packets and wrappers, please endeavour as much as possible to provide contents of the lunchbox that the children can access themselves. (We will of course continue to open packets and support the children throughout lunch)

Children will ideally have lunch outside as weather permits or inside at tables as usual.



At this time, we do not foresee any issues with regard to numbers of children attending or staffing ratios. Please be aware that if there are staffing issues or numbers fluctuate, our offer may have to change. This may mean a reduction of sessions available to children.

We would like to reiterate how important it is to keep to the normal drop off and pick up times. We appreciate that some families have children at more than one setting and it isn't possible to be in two places at once, so should you need to pick up early (or later) than normal, please contact us in advance to make suitable arrangements as we will not be using the main church entrance and of course cannot leave the gate to the paddock (garden area) open.


The Nursery Day

We need to advise you that the education and opportunities at nursery will not be what your child experienced before lockdown. The activities and access to certain toys will be slimmed down considerably and at the start of the return, more time will be spent focussing on wellbeing, rebuilding relationships and concentrating on the three prime areas of the EYFS;

  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development
  • Communication & Language
  • Physical Development.


Our requirements from families

Things will be different for children on their return to nursery and we need to emphasise that these rules are followed:

  • Please ensure all clothing is clearly labelled.
  • Children are required to wear clean clothes each day.
  • Children may only bring a lunchbox, snack and water bottle into nursery.
  • No toys to be brought in under any circumstances.
  • We must continue to promote the 'Catch it, Bin it, Kill it' approach.
  • Regular handwashing will be in place and at specific times during the day, such as
    • on arrival,
    • before and after eating,
    • after outside play and
    • before going home.
  • Children requiring the toilet will be accompanied by a member of staff every time.
  • Please remind your child they must tell an adult when they need to go.
  • Please ensure sufficient spare underwear / nappies are provided.
  • Any soiled underwear will be thrown away.
  • We will spend more time outdoors and the children should come to nursery prepared for the day and weather conditions.

Please talk to your child/children about the following, so they know what to expect:

  • Social distancing (as much as is possible for such young children) remains in place at all times - staff will retain a two-metre distance from one another.
  • We will continue to be kind and nurturing towards the children but will be unable to offer the same level of physical reassurance or comfort as normal.
  • We appreciate that the children will find it extremely hard to observe the social distancing rules.
  • Layout of the nursery may look different.
  • There will be limited self-select equipment for nursery children and no soft toys or fabric items at all.

There will be codes of conduct for all staff and parents/carers. These will be in place from the 7th September when we re-open and must be followed.



Attendance for nursery will as always be recorded on the register on a daily basis.

If your child is absent we ask that you contact nursery, either by phone or email to confirm the reason for absence as soon as possible and preferably before 10:00am.

Due to the importance of having an accurate idea of which children will be attending each day we are unable to be as flexible as usual with regard to swapping / rearranging sessions and therefore request that all families stick to those sessions they have previously arranged.

At present we will not require the signature of the person collecting the child from nursery as we have done in the past but instead will make a note on the register of who came to collect.


First Aid

Please do not send a child to nursery with any symptom of Covid-19. This can be anything from mild cold symptoms, to upset tummy and a rash or indeed the most prevalent symptoms of consistent dry cough and high temperature.

As stated above, we will be checking temperatures on arrival - if your child has a temperature of 37.8 degrees or above they unfortunately will not abe allowed to come in. Please DO NOT give your child calpol (or similar) if they feel unwell as this may maskl Covid-19 symptoms.

We retain the right to refuse entry to the nursery if we feel a child is unwell.

In the event of your child becoming unwell at nursery we will not be taking any chances; they will be taken to another room and will wait there until they can be collected. They will need to be collected as quickly as possible. The supervising adult is required to wear gloves and face mask.

Staff will not routinely wear face coverings unless we are required to do so through Government advice.

If a child cuts themselves or has an injury, we will administer first aid but taking the precautions of:

  • Adults will need to wear disposable gloves if a wound needs attending
  • Cold compresses for bumps and bangs will be immediately disposed of.



Extra cleaning is in place across the nursery in line with guidance and this will continue.

Tables and surfaces will be regularly wiped down throughout the day.

Antibacterial hand wash will be in use throughout the nursery.


Covid -19 Symptoms

If a child or someone in their family is tested for Covid-19 the child must remain at home until the results are received. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to inform the nursery immediately once they get the results, even if they are negative.

The same protocol applies if a staff member becomes unwell.

If the test is positive the nursery will inform the parents and staff as the whole setting will need to close for a minimum of 14 days to allow everyone to self-isolate and take a Covid-19 test if symptoms of the virus develop.

We will inform the whole nursery (and church contacts) if there are any positive results from testing.

We will not name individuals or their families.



As you are no doubt aware, Covid-19 has caused serious problems for businesses since lockdown began back in March 2020.

Plume Avenue Nursery have only been able to reopen thanks to the church allowing us back and to Essex County Council for continuing to make payments of the Free Early Education Entitlement (15/30 hours funding). We have not been able to utilise the furlough scheme.

We have however been forced to make a number of staff redundant so you may notice a few faces missing from February/March. All staff were given the option of voluntary redundancy to avoid us having to make people compulsorily redundant but either way, losing staff had never been envisioned as a possibility and we are very sad that we have had to make such a decision.

Therefore, please note that it is imperative that if you or anyone in your household have symptoms of Covid-19 you stay away from nursery and follow the guidelines for getting tested and social distancing. If we are forced to close again it may have serious implications for the ongoing survival of the nursery at Plume Avenue.

We thank you for your understanding and commitment to the above guidelines