2021 got off to an unusual start at Little Lancing. Although in lockdown nationally, early years settings were instructed to stay open for all children, rather than just children of Critical Workers as before. It was understandably an anxious time for all concerned and we reviewed our Covid-secure measures and risk assessments to keep everyone as safe as possible. Our staff have been taking regular lateral flow tests which is reassuring for the nursery and our families. We were so grateful to the parents for keeping us informed about the results of any tests the children had.
Our numbers continued to grow steadily and we are now fast approaching having 100 children enrolled, a fabulous achievement in the light of the experience of the pandemic over past twelve months. We prepared the extension to our baby room, to be known as The Nest, ready for new babies to join us and we are building our staff team to cover this increasing demand.
As for the children, they spent as much time outdoors as we could possibly manage, as seen by the amount of mud they brought back in with them! They have been exploring a wide variety of activities to stimulate their curious minds, develop their senses and prepare them for the future. They made scented ice sculptures, explored sensory trays, and the older children, led by the staff, discussed emotions and friendship. They have enjoyed stories about Elmer the Elephant, reading and writing, counting and of course exploring our magnificent outdoor spaces and woodland walks. One of the really lovely things we have been able to do is to hold birthday teas at nursery for those children who can’t have parties at home at the moment. We have worked hard to make life for them with us as ‘normal’ as it can be.
Our second transition phase has just taken place, with those in the Explorers baby room who are ready to move up to Investigators and our older Investigator children are now spreading their wings in Pre-School. It’s been a joy to see them all grow and progress with Little Lancing and to welcome more new children to start their journeys with us.