Due to the corona-virus pandemic that hit the United Kingdom back in March 2020 and by consequence, lock-down across the whole country, the Gooseberry Bush has had to take several measures to ensure the continued safety of our setting.

In particular the Gooseberry Bush has been working on a more flexible basis of childcare since March 2020, however with numbers of children and families increasing for the new school year we are having to tighten some of those flexibility for the safety of everyone.

What has changed & how does it affect me?

The main things that have changed at nursery is our routine with dropping off and collecting children, our sick child procedures and finally, our cleaning rotas and practice.

To summarize, families are now asked to drop off and collect their child from a particular entrance on our site. These entrances are for specific classrooms to stagger the usage of the space and minimize gatherings and mixing of classes.

The children no longer share their classrooms with their peers in the evenings when numbers are low – again, this is to minimize mixing of different groups.

Staff are frequently cleaning their classrooms and equipment, and all toys and equipment used during the day will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of the day, so that the room is fresh and clean for the following day.

This includes the outdoor spaces which are now cleaned between different groups using the space and equipment – again, to minimize mixing of groups and prevent cross-contamination between said groups.

In the event that a child is unwell with common symptoms of COVID-19, such as a consistent cough, a high fever/temperature or the sudden loss of sense of smell/taste, the child will be sent home.

Staff will wear PPE to protect themselves and others, and will advise parents and carers of the current procedures and practices regarding Track and Trace following government guidelines.

So, can my child return to nursery?

Yes! Please call nursery ahead of time to confirm that your child will be returning to nursery and what bookings you will need for them.

This is vital as some children have not been in nursery since March and as a result, will likely need several settling in sessions to get used to nursery again and become familiar with the new routines.

I am looking for childcare – do you have spaces?

Yes, however some classrooms are busier than others. Please call nursery to check whether we have space on your particular day or for your child’s age, and we can go from there.

At the moment we are not doing home visits, and we will not be doing nursery tours during term-time – we will be posting photos and videos of our classrooms at a later date so please keep an eye out on ClassDojo or our Facebook page for updates.

How have sessions changed?

From Monday 23rd March (the beginning of lock-down), families have booked their children into nursery on an hourly basis, instead of set sessions.

Families book their children into nursery ahead of time, preferably booking a month at a time as it allows us to maintain contact groups easier. Families that are more flexible with their sessions may be asked to swap sessions in certain circumstances due to low numbers or if their child would be the only one in for the rest of the day.

Lunches must be booked on a half-termly basis and cannot be changed once booked. Families can mix-an-match cooked lunches and pack lunches, however it must be done consistently.

For example: Amy has cooked lunch on Mondays, and pack lunch on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. 

How have bills changed?

All families were refunded for the week lost in March due to the corona-virus lock-down. From Monday 23rd March (the beginning of lock-down), families have been charged per hour when their children have been in nursery.

This will continue through to the new school year – families will continue to be charged at an hourly basis and parents will continue to be expected to book their children’s sessions ahead of time, especially if they need irregular sessions due to shift patterns, work changes, etc.

Bills will now be sent out the first day of the following month, so you would receive your September bill on the 1st October. Parents are asked to pay their bills before the end of the month the bill was issued, to avoid overlapping bills or financial difficulties in the future.

What are our current fees?

Our hourly rate is: £5.00 per hour

Cooked lunch = £3.50

Pack lunch = no charge

Please note cooked lunch is included with paid sessions.

Funding cannot be used to pay for lunches provided by nursery and so, you will be charged.