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Coronavirus Kent: Scallywags Nursery in Rainham goes interactive

A nursery school has come up with innovative ways to keep its children occupied.

Faced with the prospect of stripping back her service, the director of Scallywags Nursery in Rainham, moved fast to ensure youngsters at home would continue to be supported.

Scallywags Nursery, Rainham, is continuing to provide for its children remotely.
Scallywags Nursery, Rainham, is continuing to provide for its children remotely.

Joanne Watson, who runs the family-owned business in London Road, set about mobilising staff to come up with regular activities for children to do with their parents.

Although the nursery is open for a number of "critical workers", many of its 230 kiddies are at home.

Staff have been posting on the nursery's online system a scheme of six activities a day aimed at different age groups.

These include practical tasks and videos with story and song time sessions.

Joanne said: "I started planning 10 days ago how we were going to support those children who couldn't come in.

One example of the tasks set for Scallywags children.
One example of the tasks set for Scallywags children.

"For children, they don't necessarily understand why they can't come in.

"We have been getting feedback that they are really enjoying hearing and seeing the staff's faces.

"I am trying to think of everybody because we are going to come out the other side of this; we have got bonds with the children and we have got to make sure that they don't feel cut off."

Activities are aimed at using what parents may have at home to help the children progress with their early years foundation stage learning, which refers to the pre-school stage of a child's development.

Each of the tasks explains what skills are being encouraged – for example, fine motor of numeracy – and their progress can be logged on the online system.

Parents have also been benefitting from cooking videos from the nursery's chef Phil Hinchcliffe.

Joanne added: "My staff have been unbelievable. We are family owned and family run; our ethos is 'home from home'."

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