Willow Childcare Centre.
Willow Childcare Centre Woodford Schools Trust is a registered charity early-years-hcqm-logo-003NDNA Ofsted_logo
Litchaton Way, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 4RR | admin@willowchildcare.co.uk | 01752 347170

coronavirus (COVID-19)

July 2020

We are looking forward to welcoming your child back to nursery and I thank you for your understanding as we have juggled numbers and sessions so that we can provide for as many children as possible under the current restrictions.

There are a number of changes I need to make you aware of, but first of all I want to reassure you about the things that will be the same:

We will continue to hold your child’s safety, wellbeing and learning at the centre of our practice and of all our decision making. Children will be comforted if they are upset, they will be cared for if they fall over. They will be able to play and interact, because we believe that play is essential for children’s emotional development.

We have been open throughout the lockdown and following the government guidance have adopted a number of measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting.

The most significant change for you will be that we are limiting the number of people who enter the building, so your child will be met at the main entrance. This will be strange at first, but the children already attending quickly adjusted to the new routine.

Further measures include:

  • Children wash their hands as they arrive and before they go home and at frequent intervals during the day, especially before and after eating. Handwashing is supervised to ensure that it is thorough and lasts for at least 20 seconds, we have a jolly song to help with this.
  • Children are supported to understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  • We have implemented an enhanced cleaning schedule to ensure that all frequently touched surfaces are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
  • We frequently rotate and clean toys and play equipment.
  • Practitioners serve children’s food to avoid sharing utensils.
  • Children play outside as much as possible because there is a lower risk of transmission and outdoor play is so vitally important to their health and development, children are not restricted outside, although close physical contact is discouraged.
  • Children are cared for in their own room by a consistent group of practitioners. They will not be able to move freely between rooms as they have been used to, but will play with children in their own room, in smaller groups.

We need your support to ensure that these measures are effective.

The most important factor is that if you, your child, or anyone in your household is displaying symptoms of coronavirus ( a new continuous cough, or fever, or a loss of, or change in sense of taste or smell) then your child must not attend the nursery.

As a high temperature is one of the symptoms of Covid-19, please do not send your child to nursery after administering paracetamol or ibuprofen as it could mask a fever. The advice we have is that if parents consider giving their child medication, they should be having a discussion with a health care professional and the child must not attend nursery.

If your child is unwell during the day we will contact you immediately and ask you to take them home, we ask you to ensure that we have up to date contact details and to be available to collect your child without delay, especially if previous emergency contact included anyone now in a shielded group.

If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus, please organise a test and notify us immediately of a positive test. Further guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

When dropping off and collecting your child, please observe physical distancing from staff and other parents, we ask for only one parent or carer to drop off and collect and if you are able to arrive a little before or after the time your session starts it may reduce the time you have to wait.

Please do not let your child bring toys or other items from home, unless essential to their wellbeing, such as a comforter.

By accepting a place we hope you are assured that we have put in place measures to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus, and that you understand that we are not able to maintain physical distancing within the nursery.

I hope this has provided the information you need before your child returns. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

Mary Andrew

Head of Centre


15th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope this finds you safe and well. We have been open throughout the lockdown and have greatly missed all the children who have not been in; we long to see them again.

As you will know, the government has asked nurseries to start welcoming back more children from the

1st June. This will only happen if they are satisfied that rates of infection are decreasing, but at the moment we are assuming this will be the case.

 On Monday evening this week, the Department for Education released a guidance document for all education settings and the steps they need to take before welcoming back more children.

They also produced this information for parents:


I know this is a time of continued high anxiety and uncertainty and  we want to support families to get back to work, but the initial guidelines require significant changes to be made to limit the number of contacts and prevent groups of children mixing with others. Unlike schools where classes are separate and children attend every day, we have a very varied pattern of attendance over the week, developed to meet the needs of individual families, and this poses complex logistical challenges.

The government have said they will release further guidance in the ‘coming days and weeks’ and I will contact you again when we have this information.

In the meantime, I am working with Trustees and the Local Authority to put plans into place. However, it is important to stress that with the guidelines we have at the moment we are not going to be able to welcome all children back on 1st June, we will have to adopt a phased return.

 At this stage therefore we are asking parents who are keyworkers to contact us by email please at: admin@willowchildcare.co.uk by Monday 18th May to let us know any sessions you will need from 1st June.

If we are not able to accommodate all children initially, we have been asked to prioritise 3 and 4 year olds, so once we know the requirements of keyworker families, I will contact you again.

I assure you that the safety of children and staff is at the forefront of our planning and am grateful for your patience whilst we grapple to find a manageable solution to enable us to support all our families.

We continue to keep you and your children in our thoughts and look forward with hope to a time when we can all be back together.

Mary Andrew


30th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Re: Response to COVID-19 pandemic

We are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – those who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

The local authority is monitoring the use of these places and asking us to ensure that we provide places only for children where both parents have been identified by their employer as critical to the response to the COVID-19 crisis, and only for the time that they are actively working in that role.

The key message is that wherever possible children should be cared for at home

Payment of fees:

We will not be charging fees, or a retainer, for children not attending. Any balance on your account for sessions not taken in March due to the response to the COVID-19 crisis will be credited to your account. We will keep places open for children registered, unless you give notice to withdraw their place.  When we re-open we will give priority for places to children who are registered.

Invoices for April will be created at the end of the month for sessions used.


We intend to continue to support you and your family during this time of great uncertainty and increased anxiety.

With best wishes from us all that your family will stay safe and well.



Thursday 19th March 2020

To all our families

We were devastated to hear the news that  nurseries are being asked to close.  We hoped to be able to continue to support you through these very challenging times.

I have received confirmation this evening that emergency legislation was passed today giving the Government powers to close nurseries as well as schools from Monday 23rd March unless providing care for children of keyworkers or vulnerable children.

We are awaiting clarification from the government as to exactly which occupations fall into the keyworker category.

I know this decision will have a huge impact on families and am also concerned for the wellbeing of our very dedicated staff team.

I will provide a further update when it is available.

You are all in my thoughts tonight.

Mary Andrew

Head of Centre


17th March 2020

Dear Families

As you will be aware, the situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing daily. One of the most difficult aspects is the continued uncertainty about measures being taken to limit the spread of the virus.

We are receiving advice from Public Health England and the current guidance continues to be that we can help to stop the spread of the virus by practising good respiratory and hand hygiene:

  • Hand hygiene – hands should be washed regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds
  • Respiratory hygiene – catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue or elbow and dispose of tissues immediately and then wash hands thoroughly
  • Avoid touching eyes nose and mouth

In addition, we have been advised that anyone becoming unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature should stay at home to avoid spreading infection to others and that all members of the same household should then also stay at home for 14 days.

As we all know, young children frequently develop colds, coughs and high temperatures and this will be a difficult period to manage. Your co-operation with this guidance will help to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

If your child has a temperature or a recent persistent cough, please keep them at home for 7 days, and keep us informed.

The situation is developing rapidly, and we are following all guidance from Public Health England, including increased cleaning regimes. We will keep you updated on any developments.

Thank you for your co-operation, we hope that our collective response to this epidemic will have a positive impact.

Mary Andrew

Head of Centre

Willow Childcare Centre