Latest Update – 15th June  12:12pm

Good Morning

I hope you are all well & have enjoyed the sunny weekend.

As we enter week 3 of both settings being re-opened, I just wanted to update you all with how well it has been working.

The children are so happy & excited to see their friends – they are loving lots of outdoor play and I am sure those parents that were anxious to send their little ones back at the start of June would confirm that the we have all settled well back into Nursery life. We will continue with the temperature checks and washing the children’s hands on arrival and throughout the day and we will (as we always have) keep everything cleaned after use, and then sterilised.

We keep up to date with all of the guidance, government advise and regularly review how we are working – but for clarity cuddles & comfort for the children are still very much there when they need it!!

Many of the staff that were stood down in March will slowly be returning over the next couple of weeks but we do still have some team members off now for the summer and back in September as they are shielding or have childcare issues too.

Thank you for those of you that have let us know your plans for July as per my previous email. July invoices will be sent out later today and now that we are open and fully operational – from 1st July full fees will now we applied.

It has been a very tough few months for myself, Clair & Little Dots and the pandemic has put us under a lot of strain but we have been really grateful to you all for your care, support and commitment to us so thank you so much.

We hope you have a lovely week and we look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Lynsey xx

Latest Update – 15th June  12:29pm

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, I want to thank you for adhering to the government stay at home guidance, which has been a key factor in allowing settings in Oxfordshire to open to a wider group of children.

I am writing to remind you of the important role you play in helping settings to remain open. It is vitally important that you and your family continue to follow government guidelines on social distancing as this enables the measures that the setting have put in place to be as effective as possible in addressing the challenges presented by coronavirus.

We can all help to control coronavirus if we all stay alert, this means:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Unfortunately, despite recent relaxation of social distancing measures, this still means that some traditional child activities, such as sleepovers should be avoided. I acknowledge that this is really hard for children but is an important part of your role in reducing transmission.

It is also important that people should avoid sharing a private vehicle with members of another household as you will not be able to keep strict social distancing guidelines. Please consider walking, cycling or using your own vehicle if you can.

If you have to travel with people outside your household group, try to share the transport with the same people each time and keep to small groups of people at any one time.

You should

  • Consider seating arrangements to optimise distance between people in the vehicle.
  • Be aware of the surfaces that you or others touch.
  • Consider good ventilation (keeping the car windows open) and facing away from each other or wearing face coverings may help to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • You should clean the vehicle between journeys using gloves and standard cleaning products. Make sure you clean door handles, steering wheel and other areas that people may touch.

More information is available on the GOV.UK website, search for ‘Social Distancing’ and ‘Safer Travel guidance for passengers’.

Yours sincerely

Ansaf Azhar

Corporate Director of Public Health

Email: Ansaf.Azhar@Oxfordshire.gov.uk

www.oxfordshire.gov.uk

 

Latest Update – 5th June  4:53pm

Hi All

It’s nearly the weekend again….yipppee!!

I just wanted to send a quick update on how well this 1st week has gone and say a MASSIVE thank you to all of the children, parents and team of Little Dots for making the transition back to nursery run so smoothly.
Thank you for all sticking to the measures we have put in place and for respecting the drop off / pick up rules that we have implemented (we know this was making lots of you very anxious but you have all been amazing!).

The children have literally just come back and got straight back into nursery life and its been an absolute joy to see them all reunite with their friends and teachers. The children understand that we must wash our hands regularly and they
All seem to enjoy being ‘zapped’ in the morning for their temperature check.

The bubbles are working really well and have run really smoothly – the children have been happy, settled and engaged in their activities and have very limited disruption to their normal routine. The Little Dots team have been amazing and Clair & I are so
Proud of each and every one of them and cannot thank them enough for their hard work this week.

The children have loved all of their new resources & equipment and the children in LD Witney are loving the new garden lay out.

We look forward to welcoming the rest of the Little Dots community back over the coming weeks and those that are coming back in July.

It has been a very successful week everyone so thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support & understanding during this time.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend – and for those of you that went back to work this week, make sure you get a chance to put your feet up & relax!!

Much Love

Lynsey xx

 

Latest Update – 12th May  8:44am

Hi All

I hope this email finds you all well and that you enjoyed your VE Day celebrations last week.

‘The Department for Education (DfE) has today confirmed that early years providers in England will be able to open to children of all ages – regardless of whether or not their parents are key workers – as of Monday 1 June at the earliest

Following on from the updated Government Guidance, I can now confirm that Litte Dots Witney & Little Dots North Leigh will be re-opening on Monday 1st June and will be operating from the hours of 7.30am – 6pm (Monday – Friday).

I want to take this opportunity to assure you all that we have, and will continue to take the safety of the staff, children & families of Little Dots Daycare very seriously and over the next couple of days I will send you a further update on how we will be operating and the changes we have put in place ready for the re-opening on 1st June to ensure that we are minimising all risks.  We have the correct PPE to operate and we have ample supplies too.

Once I have sent this out, please do let me know if you have any queries or concerns (or even further suggestions) and I will do my best to address all of these for you. We understand that this is an incredibly anxious time for everyone so it is important that we all work together to ensure that we are minimising the risks and helping to combat the virus!

On another note – For those of you that have not completed your funding form, please can I ask that this is returned by 5pm Tuesday 12 May – failure to send this in could mean that you will not receive any funding and your full fees will apply.

I will send further details on the measures we are taking during this time to you all in the next couple of days.

Well done to all of you for all doing so amazingly well over the past 7/8 weeks – it has been tough but we are slowly getting there!

We look forward to seeing you very soon

Best Wishes

Lynsey x

Latest Update – 2nd April 3:20pm

Hi All

I hope you are well.

As we are having to work a little different at the moment – please can I ask that you can confirm to me via email if your child will be attending
And which days / times over the Easter Holidays (this applies to key workers only). Please note we are closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

We are still only open to Key Workers and working from Little Dots North Leigh until further notice and the advice given from the Government is that if you are a key worker but you have another
Parent at home then your little one(s) should be kept at home with them.

Have a great day

Lynsey x

Latest Update – 1st April 9:33am

Hi All

I just wanted to send a quick update as I have not been in contact for a few days.

I am having trouble accessing IConnect so If you have sent me a query over the past couple of days, please just bare with me while the IConnect support team help me get back on to the system
(Hopefully this should be tomorrow)

We hope that you are all ok, we understand that this Is a challenging time for many and if there is anything we can do to support you or your family, please do let us know.We are happy to offer advise,
support or resources so please do not hesitate to give us a call or email me,  The Little Dots Witney telephone number is diverted to my mobile Phone so feel free to call anytime (01993) 358323.

It is great to see so many of you enjoying the closed face book page we have set up for the parents of Little Dots, it is so lovely to be able to stay in contact and see what you are all doing at home with your family.
If you have not joined yet, come along and enjoy the fun and we will continue to give you some little activities each day.

As yet we have no news on when we will be re-opening but as soon as we know more then we will of course let you know.

Stay Safe!

Lots of Love

Lynsey. Clair & the Little Dots Team

xx

Latest Update – 25th March 7:17am

Hi All

I just wanted to send some details about the invoices for May – we will not be making any charges for this period and this is to ALL parents. For clarity NO fees will be applied for May.

We want to extend this to key workers as many of you are currently working for our wonderful NHS and we want to show you our support and show how much we appreciate the work that you are currently doing in these very difficult times.
I will not be generating any invoices for this period, so no bills will be sent for zero balance (mainly as this would need to be done manually again and it is just so time consuming, and like most of you I am trying to work from home and home school in some capacity with my own children which is already proving a little tricky!).  Any overpayments from April will be rolled over to June.

We have now sent out the revised invoices for April – these have a deduction of 60% to all non key workers that are unable to use the service whilst we are on lock down.  I have had some emails from parents that are frustrated by the 40% that we
are asking for your April fees, and I do take on board this feedback but please know that we were given just 2 days notice that we must now close down our services to non key workers.  We have a ‘slush’ fund in place but as our main goal right now is to keep each and everyone of our wonderful team in employment, (and on full pay)  we had to reach out and ask for something to cover this for March.   We also want to be around for you all when this is all over!

One thing I do have to point out is that the ’slush’ fund we have in place at the moment is what is currently used to cover many late payments every month so when normal service is finally resumed we will no longer have this available and it will take us some time to build it up again, meaning it is even more important that fees in the future are paid on time (for clarity on or before the 1st of every month).

Just to also give you an update, I have been in contact with our landlord for Witney and no payment break for our rent was able to be agreed so this is still payable every single month whilst we are closed, along with the utility bills that come with it.  We are awaiting a decision from our North Leigh site.   I was on hold to Barclays Bank yesterday to discuss ‘options’ available for 2 hours and 40 minutes but had to give up.  I have spoken with our accountant and while some of you have pointed out about the 80% funding that Is available we still do not have any details as to whether we are able to benefit from this as yet and I am sure if we are, we will need to be patient and wait for any payments made in regards to this.  As I understand, there are no other grants available to us at this time but of course the Business Rates break is very much welcomed and will help us greatly when we try to re-build our business when this is all over.

We hope that the zero fees for May will be welcomed.  At this stage we do not know what will be happening with June but we will of course keep you informed as and when we hear any more!

Thank you once again for your support.

Be Safe

Lynsey xx

Latest Update – 24th March 7:38am

I hope this email finds you ok and adjusting well to the changes to our normal daily routines.

Firstly, I just wanted to let you know that the revised invoices will be with you in the next day or two – sorry for the delay but we had to manually amend each one so it has been more time consuming than we had first anticipated.

For those of you that have not yet joined – we have started a new closed parent facebook page and we have been sharing some activities for you.  Thank you to all of you that have really got involved, keep those pictures coming as
They are really lifting our spirits and its great for us to still keep connected to our Little Dots!

I am currently working from home for the next couple of weeks but if you do need me, please email me and I will deal with your query as quickly as possible (in between some home schooling with my own 2 little munchkins!)

If you need any resources to keep your little ones occupied, please let me know and we can arrange for you to collect some items (we can leave for you by the front door if you let us know when you would like to collect)

As it stands we are now only open to ‘Key Workers’ but we will let you know as soon as we know anymore & if this changes.

Clair & I are forever grateful for the support that you have all shown us & the team!

See you all soon – Stay Safe!!

Best Wishes

Lynsey xx

Latest Update – 20th March 2:28pm

We have a very useful email from Cheryl Huntbach The Community Co-ordinator (North) and wanted to share with all parents and carers.

Good morning all, I have put together some information/links which may be helpful for you and parents.  Some of the attached is information specifically for Chipping Norton, put together by St Mary’s Church, the activity sheets and information from Family Solutions Team in Witney, and foodbank information across the north of the county.

Please let me know if there is anything I have missed that would be useful to share, and I will update with any new information as I get it.

With best wishes

Cheryl

Cheryl Huntbach
Community Co-ordinator (North)

Please use the links below to find the information referenced.

links to other sources of support in the community
Oxfordshire All in, support groups that have been set up around the county – these are being added to all of the time.
charity to support those in financial need
CAB Banbury/Bicester
CAB West Oxfordshire
Banburyshire Advice Centre
parenting support
Domestic abuse helplines.
online Family Links course
Home-Start Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton
Home Start covering Witney
play ideas
from Early Years Team, information for practitioners and parents.
Family information directory
Practitioner’s Toolkit A-Z of information and links to support

Latest Update – 20th March 9:52am

Following the government’s announcement of a ‘partial closure’ of early years providers on Friday, the Department for Education has now published the guidance on ‘key workers’. Only one parent is required to be a key worker to be able to access childcare.

This includes those working in:

– Health and social care
– Education and childcare
– Key public services
– Local and national government
– Food and other necessary goods
– Public safety and national secretary
– Transport
– Utilities, communication and financial services

‘Vulnerable children’ includes children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

The guidance has advised that “if workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service”.

We have contacted the Department for Education to ask them to make it clear that this information applies to early years providers as well as schools and colleges.

‘Nursery and teaching staff’ have been included as ‘key workers’ and we are also seeking clarification that this includes childminders as well.

The government has also published guidance for parents on ‘partial closures’ in which it says on the issue of parent fees during closures: “We are asking providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents”.

Click here for more details on the Key worker List

Click here for full government parent guidance 

Latest Update – 19th March 11:04am

Further to my message yesterday and all of my previous email messages, we will still be moving over to North Leigh as of Monday 23rd March and we will be offering a full service to all ‘Key Workers’ (Unfortunately this has yet to be defined to us, and yet again we have had no guidance at all on this to date).

If you are of the understanding that you fall under the category of ‘Key Worker’, please let me know and we will start to formulate a register for next week so we know what children to expect in.

We will still be running a shuttle service too each day as per my emails so if you need help with getting to North Leigh, please contact me direct and we can organise this for you.

Latest Update – 19th March 11am

Following on from the announcement from Downing Street just now, I want to let you all know that I am just awaiting full clarity on the situation.

As soon as I have any information, I promise to share this with you, please just bare with me.

I hope you are all ok, this is all for the greater good so lets try and keep our spirits up!

I will contact you all again as soon as I hear more….

As per my email yesterday, we will be moving all Witney Little Dots to North Leigh for a few weeks and this will be effective from Monday 23rd March. If you drive, please see address below with some directions. We will make sure we have lots of staff around to direct you to the right place and your rooms….

All North Leigh children – You are in your normal classrooms

Baby Room (Witney) – Your room is within the Hall Building on the right
Toddler Room (Witney) – Your room is in the main building at the back
Pre-School (Witney) – Your room is the out building past the North Pre-School

Little Dots Daycare North Leigh
Eynsham Park Estate
Cuckoo Lane
Nr North Leigh
Witney, OXON
OX29 6PR

Go past Eynsham Hall, on your right (if you are coming from the Witney Direction) take the next turning on the right – CUCKOO LANE. Drive for about ¾ mile and you will see the Little Dots sign, Turn Right onto the long drive (it does say private but you are on the right road), you will then see the car park on the right.

If you do not drive, we will put on a shuttle bus so if you can get your child from LD Witney – we will do a pick up at 7.30am and 8.30am. We will do a drop off at 1pm and 5.30pm.

We will open up the sensory room at Witney so you can wait / drop off in there.

We understand these timings may not fall into your ‘normal’ hours but there will be no late additional charges added for any early drop off’s / late pick ups.

If the above timings or any details do not fit in with your current routine, please let me know and we will do all we can to work around this with you.

Phone Number for Little Dots North Leigh is 01993 880111

We will still be running our Salt Box Classes & Disco Ducks with the individual rooms and we will be going on lots & lots of mini adventures to the field (we may even go on a Bear Hunt or see if we can find the Gruffalo!).

Meals will be taken with our normal teachers and friends and when possible there will be lots of ‘Al Fresco’ dining for us!

We cannot thank you enough for all being so kind, supportive, patient and understanding – We hope that this will just be a very short term change but I think we are all going to have lots of fun (even with all the madness that is going on at the moment!) xxx