Following the Prime Minister’s advice yesterday and after careful consideration, we have decided to close all Pinocchio’s nurseries from this afternoon (Tuesday 24th March), for the foreseeable future.
This has been one of the hardest decisions we have ever made, and it was a situation that in over 23 years of business we never imagined we would face, but the safety of our staff and our service users comes first. Katrina, and ourselves agreed last night that we couldn’t forgive ourselves if one of our service users contacted the virus due to us staying open. For this reason, we are at peace with our decision.
We still opened yesterday due to our commitment to provide childcare to our key worker parents throughout this crisis, when many businesses had already closed and sent their employees to be at home safe. We wanted to assess the demand to support key workers in our local community. Our decision was made easier when none of our nurseries had more than the recommended minimum amount of 10 children, and one branch had zero. We are in close communication with key worker families and our local authorities, who are coordinating hubs within our communities for essential childcare requirements to be met.
We would like to say firstly the BIGGEST thank you to all of the healthcare professionals around the world that are on the front line of this crisis, and to all our service users that have taken the advice to “Stay safe at home, it could save lives”.
The next BIGGEST thank you is to our amazing management team, especially Katrina. She is a pleasure to work with in any situation; we admire her for her passion and for the love she brings to our Pinocchio’s family, and truly believe we were meant to meet and co- create Pinocchio’s future together. It is with huge gratitude that we thank our outstanding team, one big Pinocchio’s family, for all their support over the years. We wouldn’t have our business without their dedication to offer high quality provision, and our joint commitment to achieving the best outcomes for all the children in our care.
We would like to take this opportunity to especially thank our staff, who have continued to care for the children as they normally do, giving them caring stability and providing a safe and fun environment during this challenging time. We are extremely privileged to have our wonderful team and are staying as positive as possible in these unprecedented times.
Finally, we would like to thank you all for your overwhelming support and understanding. Your feedback has been very much appreciated and we are truly fortunate to have you all looking out for our staff and the company. We would like to thank all the families that believe in us, we will get through this together. We will continue to do as the government have asked and will update you all when we have any further information.
After the government’s announcement that they will help to pay 80% of staff’s wages, we will not be asking parents to pay a retainer fee to keep their child’s nursery place. We would like to reassure you that when the nursery reopens your child(ren)s places will be secured.
People are feeling unease now more than ever, and so hope needs to be our power source. We are all connected and when we come from love, we can support as one. Life is always uncertain; change is part of life. We need to embrace this still time with our families, our loved ones. Please send us messages and pictures that we can share with other families, and we will be sending fun information for home activities and learning. Please check your emails, nursery Facebook pages and our website for support and information.
When the time is right, we are looking forward to welcoming you all back. For children of primary school age, we will arrange a final farewell gathering; you will still get to see your friends and say your goodbyes.
We have no doubt that this is the correct decision for now. We will stay positive, supportive, and reopen all together.
If you have any questions, please speak to your manager or Katrina Weir (Operational Director): 07894506743
Sending all our love to you and your families, we wish you all the best of health and please stay safe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Stratos and Lewissa
You are all still very welcome to contact the nurseries via email that the Managers are still checking, and would be more than happy to receive information, pictures, short videos of what you have been doing while off. We plan to have regular newsletter and updates on FB and check out the 2nd banner on our website home page for different activates and recipe suggestions.