Middle of March 2020 and aware that something was upon us outside of everyone’s experience, I made the decision to downscale our operations due to the uncertain spread of Covid 19.
Reduced attendance was apparent as many of our families were making the right decision to stay at home. We also had families who were frontline NHS keyworkers who needed our services which we continued to provide.
Recognising what was potentially ahead, we decided the best and safest approach was to mothball two of our three settings and operate only from Bumbles main day care. This was in an effort to provide containment.
During this period of reduced child attendance, all members of our team were busy with new tasks. We deep cleaned all settings, so that Bumbles at Rosetta and Bumbles by the Park would be ready to reopen when required. Believing that we had to act quickly and decisively, soft furnishings from all three settings were removed and professionally laundered and continue to be stored offsite until further notice. In addition, Bumbles started to develop and redraft all existing Health and Safety and Cleaning procedures to ensure that our toys, equipment and environments were safe for all our children and staff amidst the concern about the spread of Coronavirus.
I realised that very specific documentation would be required to help us through this time. Adapting our environment required us to change our thinking. As I waited on direction and updates from our industry and government, I scarred relevant websites for information. Focus and media attention was geared to primary school education and not Early Years. Extremely frustrated, I took to social media to try and communicate with various government bodies to voice my concerns.
During this very surreal time, I was so impressed and encouraged by the obvious dedication and commitment of our staff team and the resilience of our children as we all adapted, missing everyone and wondering where some of our friends had gone.