Our core principal of connection became even more meaningful, during these past months as the world kept changing around us.
This time has emphasized to us all the value of our community. Our wonderful team of educators continued to come together, planning and implementing programs that stimulated all of our children. The children loved having a familiar and safe space to play and our families felt supported in having their children in care. A parent from our Alexandria centre wrote to us “Thankfully the little ones still have something stable with childcares still open!”
Jennifer, one of our directors shared: At Learn and Laugh Alexandria we were very lucky to have lots of space to spread out and encourage social distancing. During the peak times of the COVID-19 Pandemic we ensured extra time outdoors, proper hand washing / disinfectants at all doors, temperature checks and more. We taught the children how to minimize the spread of germs through proper hand washing and coughing into elbows if needed. We read books, showed videos, shared songs and conducted science experiments to effectively teach the importance of this. We were and continue to be a source of information for parents during these times. We loved sending out videos and ideas to encourage at home learning and Videos of us teaching. We had wonderful feedback about the Home Learning information we sent home. Our videos included us reading books, conducting experiments or singing songs. It was important for us to include our families at home in addition to providing a safe and welcoming environment for those attending.
Some photos from our Alexandria centre.
Early childhood education and care services have shown enormous strength, courage and resourcefulness as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Like many others, we had created new protocols and ways to keep everyone informed and connected, as well as new procedures aimed at keeping us all safe.
We aimed to make decisions that both respects families and maintains safety. One example is the changes to our arrival and departure routines. We tried to achieve efficiency and convenience for adults with the necessity of more rigorous hygiene practices, without compromising on our important relationship with families. Keeping in mind each one of our centres is set up differently, each one came up with different procedures following authorities’ advice.
Our Lewisham centre have implemented social distancing in the foyer when we have so many families picking up at the same time, as well as allow only one family into the nursery room at a time.
In our Drummoyne centre the sign-in kiosk is now located outside on the veranda. This allows families to sign their children in and out for the day and then continue along the veranda to their child’s room, where the educators then assist the children to put their bags and belongings away.
Some children enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate how capable they are as they carry their own bags, wash their hands, and take pride in their own sense of independence.
At our Drummoyne centre they drew “pictures” on everyone’s hands at the beginning of each day. With the rigorous hand washing practice, by the time the parents come to pick up, the pictures have faded.
These past months the future has been a bit unclear. But we have no doubt that the ‘hand washing while singing songs’ is here to stay 🙂