Tops Day Nurseries to Remain Open during Lockdown 2.0

Tops Day Nurseries to Remain Open during Lockdown 2.0

Press release from Tops Day Nurseries.

A Day care company with nurseries across the South West will remain open throughout the second lockdown.

On Saturday 31st October the Government announced there would be a second lockdown for four weeks, starting on Thursday 5th November and set to last until 2nd December 2020. In line with the government guidance, Tops Day Nurseries have pledged to remain open where possible to ensure stability and continuity for the children we care for.

Following the return of children after the first national lockdown we saw an increase in children showing early signs of anxiety and disruptions to children’s development after having to be isolated for so long which is why we are so delighted that this time the government has recognised the Early Years as a Key Service, playing an essential role in the development of the next generation.

Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director said: “I am so proud of our colleagues who continue to provide an outstanding level of childcare during this unprecedented time. Tops Day Nurseries are open wherever there is demand from parents.

“With government restrictions not affecting childcare I am delighted that Tops Day Nurseries can remain open during this second lockdown, providing top quality childcare to those who need it”

Tops Day Nurseries care for children aged from three months to school age.

It will also continue operating ‘Hi5’s Club’ for primary school children and will be offering emergency placements between the hours of 6am and 8pm, subject to demand and availability.

Ms Hadland continued: “The service we provide means we are just behind the front line, several of our nurseries are on hospital sites, and most of the rest look after children whose parents work in the NHS and emergency services.

“It’s our commitment to stay open so we can provide education and stability for all children and childcare for those that need it. It’s important that we remain united and support each other in any way possible and I’m proud that we are able to help.”


About Tops Day Nurseries:

Tops Day Nurseries is the UK’s leading eco-sustainable childcare provider with 29 settings across the South Coast.

We  offer a wide range of activities and learning experiences to develop young minds, from messy play and cooking to problem-solving, storytelling, creative play and trips out. We also offer flexible bookings to the nearest 15 minutes, so you only pay for the hours you need.

Press contact: Zoe Roberts – Marketing Manager


Lest We Forget: Honouring Remembrance Day

Lest We Forget: Honouring Remembrance Day

Press release from Milton Hall Montessori Nursery School.

Armistice Day is on the 11th of November and is also known as Remembrance Day. It marks the day World War One ended, at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. A two-minute silence is held at 11 am to remember the people who have died in wars.

The children listened to stories about the War and looked in detail at the fields where soldiers had fallen.

Communities from Englefield Green commemorated the fallen with remembrance services.

Sutindar Lal, manager at Milton Hall Montessori , said: “I am happy to say that the children embraced this year’s remembrance activities and learning all about our current serving soldiers as well as the ones who went to war.

The children laid their wreath as a mark of respect which we now hope will be a Milton Hall Montessori Nursery School  tradition.”

Armistice Day commemorates those who contributed to the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

An Ex RAF veteran played the bagpipes at the service.

As the service ended, we then joined the people of Our local community in Englefield Green and Veterans of the war and laid our wreath at memorial.

One in six childcare settings fear closure by Christmas without emergency funding

One in six childcare settings fear closure by Christmas without emergency funding

Nearly 17% of childcare settings fear they will have to close their doors by Christmas, with just over half saying they will need emergency funding to stay open for the next six months.

The survey by the Early Years Alliance also found that only a quarter of childcare providers expect to make any profit between now and March, while two thirds said that the government had not done enough to support providers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Alliance is calling for an emergency Early Years Sufficiency Fund targeted at those childcare providers at risk of closure. Based on analysis of the 2,106 responses to the survey, independent early years research analysts Ceeda estimate that around £240 million in total would be needed for the fund over the next six months.

Childcare settings have been hit by a fall in demand this year due to the pandemic with providers seeing a 21 per cent fall in occupancy levels compared to this time last year.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: “We are now at a critical moment for the early years sector. With demand for places still significantly below what would typically be expected, and no sign of things returning to normal any time soon, many nurseries, pre-schools and childminders are reaching the point of no return.

He added that “there is absolutely no excuse for the government’s continued indifference towards the early years sector” saying “quality early years provision is a central part of our social infrastructure, and should be treated as such. It’s not too late for the government to show that it recognises the value of the sector – both to the young children who benefit from quality early education, and the parents, and particularly mothers, who benefit from accessible care – and make the investment needed to safeguard the many thousands of providers in desperate need of support.”

The government has claimed that it is supporting the sector by ‘bulk buying’ early years places until the end of the year by funding councils based on last year’s childcare attendance figures. However, an Alliance Freedom of Information request investigation carried out in September found that in many cases, this money was not reaching the frontline, with one in six local authorities in England admitting that they were not adhering to government guidance on funding childcare providers based on last year’s numbers.

The full story, as reported by The Guardian can be found here.

Information on the Early Years Alliance #thisisearlyyears campaign can be found here.


New Government guidance issued for education and childcare settings

New Government guidance issued for education and childcare settings

On Saturday 31 October the Prime Minister announced New National Restrictions, lasting from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Within the guidance, the government confirms that it will not be closing early years settings, schools, further education (FE) colleges or universities and sets out the following measures for early years childcare:

There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare for the duration of the national restrictions:

  • early years settings and childminders remain open, and parents can continue to use these settings as normal
  • parents will be able to access other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, seek work, attend education or training, or for the purposes of respite care for carers
  • nannies will be able to continue to provide services in the home
  • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under
  • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household

Settings should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in guidance.

During the announcement on 31st October the Prime Minister announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until the end of March 2021 (up to 80% of current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500). Early years providers’ access to the CJRS remains as published. The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended.

Business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Also, £1.1bn is being given to local authorities to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

On the subject of the extended CJRS, Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said: “Extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March is good news for employers because its replacement was due to be a much less generous scheme.

“However, the concern for nurseries is how to make sure they have the staff they need to be able to stay open. As we start to look to next year, our members are worrying about what the funding arrangements will be for the spring term and beyond. As the average nursery continues to have fewer children than usual, it’s vital that the government gives certainty that settings won’t lose out on funding because of the pandemic. This clarity is needed now and can’t be left until the last minute.

“Childcare providers are having to find higher operating costs to keep their nurseries safe, but lower demand has decimated their income. NDNA has been lobbying for transitional funding and a longer term review of rates that reflect actual costs.”

The full guidance on how the new national restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) impact education, childcare and children’s social care settings as published on the official government website can be found here.

The new national restrictions from 5 November (in full) can be found here.


‘Impact of furlough in early years’ research project launched

‘Impact of furlough in early years’ research project launched

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) and the Education Policy Institute (EPI) are launching the second survey in their year-long research project looking at the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the early years sector.

With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – which was due to continue into December before being replaced by the Job Support Scheme, and is now continuing until March – this piece of research will look at the impact the furlough scheme has had on the early years sector to date.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “It is vital that we get the full picture of challenges facing the early years sector through this survey given the new lockdown measures. This is a highly uncertain time for everyone as we enter a new period of Coronavirus restrictions. This valuable research will help us to provide evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on providers. We are asking childcare providers across the UK to take the time to complete the survey to capture the evolving nature of the challenges in each nation.”

This piece of research is part of a larger four survey study, the first round taking place in August.

Participants who will remain strictly confidential can either take part in any or all of the four surveys. NDNA and EPI will be sharing the results from each piece of research, with a larger piece of analysis at the end of the year-long project.

To complete the survey click here


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