Nursery News 11.1.2021


11th January – Edition 211


Find out About:

A: Willow Nursery School is open.

B. .Staffing updates.

C. Our January Intake.

D. Term Dates

E. Funding forms for the Local Authority must be signed by parents.


A: Willow Nursery School is open.

I hope you all had a restful break. I know the staff used the time to rest, and ready themselves for the Spring Term.

We are open, and we are operating in the same way that we were in December.

We have an in depth document, written by the government, that Early Years settings have to follow to keep staff, pupils and parents safe in this pandemic. This document is regularly updated. Scientists from the Sage committee say that even though we have a new covid variant that seems to be very contagious, we do not need to take additional measures to keep ourselves safe, we just need to continue with the same measures that were in place, but make sure we adhere to them very well. Remembering that regular handwashing is of utmost importance, trying to stay socially distanced wherever possible, and using face coverings where social distancing is not possible.

We are still following all the important rules to keep children safe.

We are still operating two bubbles. One bubble is all the children that will leave us in July 2021, the other bubble is all the children younger than this. Children still have free flow play, both inside and outside for most of the session and come together for a group story time or activity towards the end of their session.

We understand all families have different feelings and views about whether their children should attend Nursery or not at this time. We do understand.

We also know that individual parents views may change over time, so what you choose at the moment may change in the coming weeks. That is OK too.

Almost all parents have contacted us if they have chosen to keep their child at home at the moment. We are very grateful for this information. We have made a note of what each parent has advised, so we have an overall picture.


B. Staffing Updates

Miss Howe’s daughter is in Year 4. She attends her school as a Keyworker child. Her bubble was closed from today as a child in her class tested positive for coronavirus. Miss Howe’s daughter has to isolate for 10 days. We will see Miss Howe again on Tuesday 19th January.

As a school we are very vulnerable to closure.

We have two teachers, Miss Howe and Mrs Davies. A teacher must be on duty for the school to open. Both of us have primary aged children attending school in keyworker bubbles. We could end up with both of us having to be at home looking after our own children if both their bubbles close. In this scenario our school would close.

Mrs Davies and Miss Howe both work with the Main Nursery children every day. If we had a confirmed coronavirus case in the Main Nursery, either a child or member of staff, then the entire bubble would close. If Main Nursery bubble closes for everyone to isolate for 10 days, Miss Howe and Mrs Davies would both be sent home. In this scenario our school would close.

If a child or member of staff tested positive for coronavirus in the Catkins/ Blue group bubble, the bubble would close. In this scenario the school may be able to stay open, if Mrs Davies or Miss Howe were able to remain in school to manage the Main Nursery.

The important message to note here is our day to day vulnerability. We want to continue to provide care and education for the children that do attend. Please do not send in any children who are unwell in any way. If your child is ‘under the weather’, or ‘out of sorts’ please keep them at home. If your child becomes unwell at school, we will ask you to come and collect them.

Please help us to stay open. One staff member off, things become tight. Two staff off, things become difficult. Three staff off and we face closure due to staff shortage. So as parents, please behave in a covid secure way whenever possible. Please do not bend the covid rules during your daily lives.


C. Our January Intake.

We have just admitted 11 new starters, who have just turned three. These children, along with four children already attending Nursery make up Blue Group. Blue group is based in room 3, and they are looked after by their Keyworker, Miss Gaffney.

I’d like to welcome all these new families to our school.


D.Term dates:

Spring term begins Tuesday 5th January 2021.

Half term from 15th-19th February 2021

Term ends for Easter school holidays on Friday 26th March.

The best place to look for the most up to date Term dates is on the Central Beds Website. The Local Authority have been known to move school holidays to bring them in to line with neighbouring counties. I would always suggest double checking there before booking a holiday or other important event.#


E. Funding forms for the Local Authority must be signed by parents.

All parents that claim 30 hours funding for their child must sign a parent declaration form provided by the Local Authority, every term, to enable to school to receive the additional funding for their child. The majority of our parents were approached by the office staff during the last week of December to sign their child’s declaration form.

Some parents still need to sign their child’s form. For example, some parents have decided that they want to keep their child at home, in the short term, due to isolation, shielding, or personal choice. There are outstanding forms for about 12 children. The form is required by the Local Authority to confirm your child’s eligibility, and your child’s attendance pattern at Willow Nursery School.

This form must be signed for us to eventually receive the 30 hour funding. Failure to sign will mean your child will not receive 30 hour funding. Your child will then have to drop to attend for 15 hours only.

All forms must be signed by the 22nd January.

There are 3 options open to you. Note, with the first two options we will complete the information required on the forms, and you will need only to add your signature.

1) Drop into the school between 9am and 3pm to sign your child’s form in person.

2) We can scan and email the form to you electronically, for you to then sign, scan and return back to Mrs Flynn.

3) Complete an online form downloaded directly from the Local Authority (we will provide the link to the form). In this option parents must fill in all the information required on the form themselves, and submit directly to the council ( and then please inform the school office once this has been submitted.) As yet this form is not yet available, we anticipate it will be available by Monday 18th January. ACTION REQUIRED: Please email Mrs Flynn at to inform her of your preferred choice of method of completing your child’s form