Nursery pledges to remain open to care for children of key workers during crisis

Charlton Nursery

Charlton Nursery - Credit: Charlton Nursery

The nursery’s founder says she has had parents contact her ‘in tears’ due to the lack of childcare avaliable.

Helen Nott, CEO and founder of Charlton Nursery

Helen Nott, CEO and founder of Charlton Nursery - Credit: Charlton Nursery

A nursery in Flax Bourton has confirmed its Bistol base will remain open to the children of keyworkers, during the coronavirus lockdown.

Charlton Nursery, in Winterstoke Road, will remain open throughout the crisis, from 7.30am–6pm, every week day.

Kelly, Clare, Emma and Briony at Charlton Nursery

Kelly, Clare, Emma and Briony at Charlton Nursery - Credit: Charlton Nursery

The nursery will be able to take both the children of key workers who would usually attend either the Imperial or Flax Bourton branches, as well as new key worker children..

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Chief executive and founder of Charlton Nursery, Helen Nott believes it is vital that key workers’ children are still cared for.

Helen said: “We’ve had parents contact us in tears saying they are needed in the NHS and other critical roles but are unable to due to a lack of childcare.”

“It’s heart-breaking to think that people who are doing such a vital job for the good of us all aren’t able to fulfil their roles.”

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“From the start, we’ve tried to work out how we can provide a good childcare option for anyone in and around Bristol and we’re grateful to be able to help in any way.”

Currently, 12 staff members provide care, and three meals a day, for less than 20 key worker children at the nursery.

However, they have the capacity for up to 78 children.

Helen Nott added: “We’re trying to keep our schedules as normal as possible.”

Helen founded the nursery in 2004 and both the Charlton and Imperial branches have received ‘Good with outstanding features’ ratings from Ofsted.

She said: “There are things like Forest School that we can’t do currently, but we’re still making sure children can play outside in our play area in this beautiful weather.

“We’re also limiting who comes into the building so we’re reducing any additional practitioners.

“Staff have been fantastic and feedback has been great, so we’ve promised everyone an extra week’s holiday after this is over to say thank you. And our cook has been keeping busy with cooked breakfasts for staff every morning.”

On April 16, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson, announced that the UK’s coronavirus lockdown will be extended for a further three weeks.

As a result, key workers will continue to be dependent on childcare providers such as Charlton Nursery to carry out their jobs.