Staff at a Tameside nursery have been providing childcare for workers in essential roles during the coronavirus pandemic.
Amy Wood, 31 and from Gee Cross, is managing director at ABC Nursery, which received pandemic support from Tameside Council, and said that the nursery remained open throughout lockdown, taking care of a small number of children to support the families of key workers.
ABC is now slowly welcoming more children back as part of a phased opening and have found families to be extremely supportive in what the nursery has been doing.
A lot of families have been cautious about sending their children back to nursery but staff kept in touch during lockdown, encouraging daily activities to boost learning and development.
Amy said: "Reassurance is vital if parents are going to feel comfortable enough about sending their children back to nursery."
Initially it was a challenge to deal with the changing situation but Amy and the team at ABC Nursery put risk assessments and checks in place to minimise the risk as much as possible.
Amy said: "One of the most interesting changes we have made is the increased use of our outdoor play area. We researched what had been done in other countries following government advice and decided one of the safest measures would be to use our outdoor space. And since lockdown began we haven't had a single case of COVID-19!"
Social media has given the nursery opportunity to easily share what they're doing with parents and carers. They can quickly view videos and pictures which show how the facility has changed and other safety precautions like social distancing signs and hand sanitising locations which have been installed.
The nursery has been supported by multiple Tameside Council teams during the pandemic, supplying them with PPE so staff can carry out their role as normal, business support and the opportunity to share their insight in the Business Leader's Group.
Amy was looking forward to a special celebration for the nursery this year. She said: "This was our 10 year anniversary and while we weren't expecting this situation the experience has brought our long-standing team closer together. It's also made us realise that if you do things right and to the best of your ability your community will support you."
Amy added: "Everyone has shown true community spirit and during an unprecedented time it has been heart-warming to see."
Cllr Oliver Ryan, Tameside Council Executive Member for Finance and Economic Growth, said: "Settings like ABC Nursery have been providing an essential service for key workers with young children during the lockdown. As a result of the hard work of their team, and teams across the borough, parents and carers have been able to go out and perform vital jobs during the pandemic.
"I'm very proud of the hard work from our services and officers who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to support businesses across our borough."