Gorebridge nursery on the front line during coronavirus outbreak

A Gorebridge nursery is playing a vital role in the fight against Covid-19 by remaining open to look after the children of our key workers.

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 11:24 am
Pic Lisa Ferguson 30/03/2020

Haley 3, Caleb 2 , Harper 5, with Jayde 

Newbyres Nursery, which is playing a key role during the lockdown, looking after the kids of key workers
Pic Lisa Ferguson 30/03/2020 Haley 3, Caleb 2 , Harper 5, with Jayde Cooper Newbyres Nursery, which is playing a key role during the lockdown, looking after the kids of key workers

Newbyres Nursery is one of the very few private nurseries staying open to support our key workers’ children and also our vulnerable families.

Newbyres Nursery manager Mel Scrimgeour said: “It hasn’t been an easy decision at all to stay open. With the coronavirus job retention scheme, and support from the council with our pre-school funding, it made total business sense just to shut up shop and furlough all our staff.

“However, we felt that we owe this to our key worker families and also to our vulnerable children who are still able to access their place.

“Our parents of children who are not currently able to access their place have been incredibly supportive of the nursery, and we are keeping in touch with regular updates and Home Learning Packs.

“We are proud to remain open for key workers but it’s so difficult because we are potentially exposing our valued staff at the nursery to the virus.

“However, our staff want to help as they have a sense of social responsibility, and we want to continue to provide stability and a bit of normality to our vulnerable families as well as the key worker children.

“Midlothian Council is grateful for us staying open and it has rallied round, getting supplies from the closed schools for us (as our own supplier is so busy that they are not currently accepting orders), and it has offered to help with our cleaning as we have had to furlough certain staff for health reasons.”

As well as looking after the children of key workers during the lockdown, the nursery has been helping others too.

Mel added: “It meant a lot to the nursery staff to receive a personal thank you from the Scottish Government via Twitter on Friday too, for the vital work that they are doing in allowing the frontline workers to continue the fight against Covid-19.

“We are donating to Bumblebee Sports and Buzzy Bees Music, both local businesses in Gorebridge who usually do sessions at the nursery, so that they can do online sessions for our families who can’t access their place, to enjoy at home.

“The children have just made lovely decorations to go around the outside of the nursery including Rainbows, so that people have something nice to look at on their daily walk, and the children will be adding to these each week.

“I just thought along with the other stories that we are hearing about fantastic community spirit and also recognition of the work that the wonderful NHS are doing, it would be nice also to recognise childcare practitioners as frontline essential workers at this time.”

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