The Show must go on!
Lockdown One of COVID-19 (March 2020) was a very pivotal moment for Exbourne Pre-School. The setting was at a point where the existing management committee of (past) parents recognised the need for "fresh faces" to join the Committee to take on the baton of guiding the 34 Year Old Pre-School.
After the initial call for parent support went out it would be fair to say that very little interest came forward, and the existing committee were at the point of balancing the need to keep Pre-School operating against their available capacity to continue to be able do so.
During this time Jane, one of our committee members worked tirelessly with the Pre-School Manager to support parents virtually through a Facebook support group and activities. Survey work with the Pre-school's parents showed that there was a desire from parents & carers for children to come back to the pre-school setting as soon as it was deemed safe to do so.
During lockdowns we followed government guidance to open for children of key workers and vulnerable children. Attendance during this time bobbled between 3-8 children, without the continued support from our access to publicly funded entitlement hours it's unlikely that we would have been in a position to keep our small rural Pre-School open.
As part of the promotion for Exbourne Pre-School's 2020 Annual General Meeting a further call for parents to join the Committee went out; three parents stepped forward to support the existing committee members and manage the transition process which would eventually see past parents able to step down from the management committee.
Since the 2020 AGM our Committee has reviewed Covid-19 Protocols, Procedures and Risk Assessment, recruited new members of staff including a new Manager, applied for various funding pots, rebranded our logo, updated the website, reviewing the Pre-School policies and explore a new governance structure that will help allow for a more agile Committee.
Having already canvassed our parents around their thoughts on having children back in the Pre-School setting; Monday 4th January 2021 saw a very nervous group of committee members huddled around their respective TV sets waiting from the Prime Minister's announcement that Early Years settings could open. We all then jumped on a Zoom Call to confirm we were happy that with suitable measures in place and an updated Covid-19 Risk Assessment we would to open our doors to children from families who wished to come from Tuesday 5th January 2021 as a way to continue their educational development.