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
BABY ROOM NEWS
We’ve been very busy in the baby room since Christmas. We’ve said goodbye to a group of babies that have transitioned to the 2’s room, and we have also welcomed some new friends! The older babies in the baby room have been very welcoming to their new friends, by offering cuddles, helping to find comforters and doing lots of funny tricks to help their friends settle in.
We’ve celebrated lots of worldwide celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day, St David’s Day, St Patricks Day and Mother’s Day. The babies have been involved with lots of mixed media decorating for these celebrations, and also tasting – they loved the sour lemon pancakes! We hope all the Mummies enjoyed their cups of tea on Mother’s Day with the cards the children were busy decorating for you.
As a team we would like to praise the babies with the amount of Makaton signing they have been using lately. The babies have been using the signs as well as trying to say the words. The communication the babies have with each other is lovely!
The babies have also been really good using cutlery during main mealtimes. The older babies demonstrate to the younger babies how to use the cutlery, and they all try to use them together – learning from each other is so fascinating to watch!
Hope you all have a safe Easter Break, and we look forward to seeing you soon for more fun and learning!
The Baby Room Team
TWOS ROOM NEWS
We gained a lot of new children in the twos room in January from the baby room and they have all settled into the room well. Seeing as we have gained more children we have been looking at the layout of the room and trying to find a set up that works for the current group of children.
Lots of them have showed a big interest in small world toys so we decided to make a bigger area for the cars and small world toys. The twos also love to be messy and creative so we have made a creative area so all the children can assess messy resource throughout the entire day. Having the room set out like this has worked well as it provided the children with everything they need to play with without needing to get an adult to help. We have also moved our cosy corner to the space just outside the room so the children who want to have quieter time are able to. This space also allows the children that no longer sleep to have some quiet time for themselves.
We have celebrated Chinese New Year, Valentine’s day, Pancake day, St. Patricks and Mother’s day. We made lots of crafts for those children that wanted to join in. For Chinese New Year we showed the children a video of how they allocated an animal to each year and this inspired us to do the same by having a race around the garden.
We decided that we would love to show our appreciation to all the NHS workers, thanking them for all of their hard work and dedication at this very difficult time. We had previously seen some members of the public drawing rainbows and placing them in their windows.
As a team we thought this idea was a touching and inspirational gesture and decided that we would love to make one of our own to hang outside of our nursery for everyone to see. This touched our hearts and made us all feel very proud.