To all our families across Bristol Childcare
I hope that you are staying physically and mentally well at this difficult time.
We know that many children are missing time at nursery with their friends, and we know that everyone being at home is putting huge pressure on families, with many parents trying to work alongside care of their children. We also know that many of our parents are going out to work in difficult circumstances
At Bristol Childcare we are doing all we can to support our community.
I would like to thank our amazing core team who are caring for Key Worker and vulnerable children at The Priory which has become our Hub nursery. They are hugely positive about this and are showing amazing bravery and resilience. Through their care they are enabling those parents to continue their front line roles and are supporting children that need it.
I would also like to thank our Head Office staff who continue to work to keep BCC functioning.
We have put safe working measures in place and many are combining working at home with working in the office on flexible hours. This can create administrative challenges, so please bear with us, we are doing our best to respond to queries as quickly as we can.
Lastly we are doing all we can to care for our full staff team. I am keeping in touch with them and trying to support them with ideas to stay physically and mentally well. As a wise friend said to me, “we are all in the same boat, just with different oars”. This situation is affecting each of us in a different way. I believe it’s more important than ever that we retain compassion and understanding for each other, as it is only together that we will come through this whole.
Thank you all for your patience at this unprecedented time.
Thank you to everyone who has paid their April bill. This week we have been reviewing the finances and working out how we can best support the staff team who are working and those who are furloughed. We will write again to update you at the end of the month. We very much appreciate your support.
We continue to follow all government guidance and are of course keeping a close eye on the situation regarding when we are able to open for all our families again – we are looking forward to the time when our nurseries will be full of chatter and laughter again.
If you have a general enquiry, please email Saffia at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hub team are monitoring Priory emails but it’s easier if you can contact the Head Office or Senior Management team directly.
Court House and Mornington House phones and emails have been forwarded to Head Office but please email Saffia directly if you have a query.
Please contact the finance team in the usual way by emailing: justine.mintowt-czyz@ bristolchildcare.co.uk
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
This newsletter contains news and updates from March before the lockdown period. There is also general Bristol Childcare news and updates from our Hub nursery. We hope this helps you feel in touch.
We also hope you are enjoying the activities, songs and stories that our core team are posting on ParentZone – please let us know!
Once Upon a Time… Online – This book was recommended to me at E-Safety Training I attended. Kerry, Curriculum Lead at The Priory says… “It’s a great book to read with children to start a conversation about keeping safe online”
ECO WHEEL CHAMPION
We are proud to be working with The Eco Wheel, a scheme to help early years settings “embark on their Eco Journey”.
The Eco Wheel was launched at the Nursery World Show in London in February and we have been piloting it at The Priory in Filton.
The focus is on using the 8Rs – Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Repair, Return and Recycle to reflect on our consumption across Bristol Childcare and think of how we can reduce this. This fits very well with our ethos and so has been further inspiration to increase the work we have been doing.
As part of the scheme it’s been wonderful to see staff at The Priory learning to sew so that they can mend nursery resources – and their own clothes rather than buy new. We are also researching and discussing how we can support more parents to use reusable nappies.
Trying to reduce our consumption and impact on the Earth is something very close to my heart so I am delighted to be working with The Eco Wheel. I’m really inspired by the conversations I’m having with staff – there is so much for all
us to learn as we reflect on changes that we can make that really do make a difference. We’d love to hear ideas from parents too, so do please get in touch about this.
You can find out more at ecowheel.org
BCC HUB UPDATE FROM THE PRIORY
From Sally, Rachel, Kerry and Amelia
We have enjoyed getting to know the children from all three nurseries and getting to know our new working partners. We have been pleased with how quickly all the children have settled.
We have spent lots of time outside in the lovely sunshine we have been lucky enough to have; The Priory has a big garden so lots of space to run around in.
So far we have painted and decorated eggs, played with moon sand, danced to music and shared lots of stories Sally enjoys bringing in.
We have also made salt dough and made handprints in it as a record of this lockdown time. Why not give it a try at home and send in your handprints through ParentZone?
The children have also been helping to care for the preschool African Giant land snail called Toot Toot. We have brought him out of the tank and watched him move around. Some of the children had lots of questions about Toot Toot the snail.
As a team we have been sending regular activities to all children through ParentZone and videoed ourselves reading. This is so that we can maintain contact with the children and families who are at home – we hope you are enjoying them, please let us know!
IN THE MEDIA
We were delighted that Bristol Childcare featured in the March issue of Nursery World in the article Hold Tight about babywearing. Photos of staff from all three nurseries were used and Gabbie Howells, Babyroom Manager from The Priory, and Saffia Bullock were quoted. It’s great to be able to share the benefits of this aspect of our care with the early years community.
You can read the full article at: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/features/article/health-nutrition- hold-tight
Following the interest in our January core book, Dear Zoo, the children from pre-school went on a trip to Bristol Zoo.
Daphne, Lucia’s mamon, works at the Zoo so she met us there. Harvey’s mum, Rachel came with us to help and we walked all the way there and back.
We used the map to find our way around the Zoo and saw lions, gorillas, crocodiles, butterflies and snakes as well as lots of other animals!
As we left, we could hear the lions roaring and one of the children said “they’re saying goodbye to us”!
WORLD BOOK DAY
We had great fun dressing up in our costumes for World Book Day. The children brought in lots of books from home. Baby room created a group theme by dressing up as Cat in the hat characters from a Dr.Seuss book.
Some of the school children had their version of their stories scribed into a home-made book. This was a great little exercise to see if they knew their story.
BIG BIRD WATCH
We signed up for the big bird watch and started work on learning the names of the birds.
Sally made the classification sheets into matching games, which we then used in group times. There was lots of discussion about our favourite birds. We also looked up the bird noises on our room computer.
We conducted two bird watches: one in the nursery garden and one on the downs. The children thoroughly enjoyed using the charts in situ and loved being our in a wide open space. We brought a pair of real binoculars for them to use.
After the events, we looked at the charts and counted up the birds we saw. We submitted our findings to the RSPB. They now form part of this year’s garden bird statistics. How great that our nursery children could be part of a National survey.
We have been ‘making’ compost for over two years and we used it to dig into the ground and make an area to plant courgettes and other vegetables. The children found some bits of egg shells, sticks and some worms. “Look, I’ve found Superworm!”
We sourced the materials in the garden and the natural jars in our rooms. Then we used the bottles to tell the story ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ to each other and to any adults who came into the room.