Tue, 14 Jul 2020
A THATCHAM preschool has sent goodbye messages and activities to its children to continue their learning after an “abrupt end” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pied Piper Preschool staff created bags containing activities for children to help them prepare for school, as well as guidance for parents.
The bags also had a goodbye card from teachers and were delivered by key workers that children had been assigned to since they started, wishing them good luck.
Manager Eva Hughes said: “Everything we do is about getting children ready for school. Obviously the Covid outbreak has massively affected that.
“We did feel that it was very difficult for the children emotionally to put an end to their preschool because we had not said goodbye. We hadn’t done anything at all, it had just come to this horrible abrupt end.”
Mrs Hughes said that parents had said how lovely the bags were and that it had been nice for their children to say goodbye to their key workers.
Preschools could reopen from June 1, but Pied Piper has decided not to at this stage and is aiming for September.
Mrs Hughes said: “We asked parents if they would like to return and the majority didn’t want to, so we didn’t have enough children to open.
“We ended up with four children and we said we needed a minimum of six.
“I think a lot of parents felt very anxious about putting their children back into this situation.
“It’s different to school, I just think they had more of a choice. It’s not statutory, whereas with school I think there’s an element of them missing out on the learning, whereas preschool they are missing out on getting ready for school, but actually that can be done at home I think, which is why we have given them a bit of guidance.”
Pied Piper has no access to any grant funding, but Mrs Hughes said it was lucky to be OK financially, although a small deficit had arisen owing to the pandemic and closure.
“I’ve heard of quite a lot of nursery and preschools closing. There’s such a small profit margin on them and I think a lot of them have struggled to survive.”