Early years settings remain open amid latest lockdown measures

As schools and colleges close their doors in efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus, staff at early years settings continue to meet increasing demands for childcare across Shropshire.

Under the latest national Covid-19 restrictions, students have gone back to remote learning in line with school closures, while nurseries, alternative provision and special schools remain open.

Previously, early years settings were available to the children of key workers only.

At Little Green House Childcare in Bridgnorth, practitioners have made every effort to ensure the safety of staff and youngsters while keeping up with a greater number of families requiring support.

Hannah Vyse, managing director of the Mill Street-based nursery, said they have increased their staff to 15 and are still looking to recruit.

“We’ve continued with Covid procedures and invested heavily in our outdoor shelters to ensure we’re outside as much as possible,” she said.

“We’ve had to recruit a lot because we’re trying to keep different age groups apart in four separate rooms so that they’re in their own bubbles.”

Little Green House Childcare previously had a nursery in Bobbington, which has now closed, and one in Claverley, which is now under new ownership.

“During the first lockdown we struggled financially, but now we’re doing okay,” Hannah said.

“More children means more staff and at least one member of staff is needed in each room, but we’re in a fabulous position where we’ve got a fantastic team who’ve kept going through it all.”

Meanwhile, all the children at the Peter Pan Nursery near Oswestry arrived as normal yesterday, with parents pleased that nurseries were still able to open.

Owner Lynne Jones said: “The children were very happy to be back after the Christmas break.

“Our parents are happy with the safety measures we have in place, our staff are happy and we believe that it’s very important that children can be at nursery.

"They had to stay at home for six months last year and in a young child that’s a very long time in their life. It’s vital that they are able to socialise and learn.”

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