Choosing a Nursery – Virtually!

Choosing the best nursery for your child is a huge decision.

In more typical times, parents visit nurseries in person, meet the staff and take a tour of the different spaces, making a decision based on the atmosphere, environment and first impressions.

To ensure that parents can still make an informed decision during lockdown, a Dundee nursery business is launching virtual tours, enabling families to secure their space for the months ahead.

Balgillo Nurseries run four nurseries in the city, three in Broughty Ferry and one in Ardler. Although all four remain open for key worker families, the owners are working hard to reduce the risk to both children and staff.

By using a smartphone or other device, the nursery is offering virtual tours which allow parents to view the nursery’s spaces, from playrooms and gardens to bathrooms and eating spaces. Nursery Managers can also talk parents through the options available and answer any specific questions.

Pamela Gall, co-owner said, “Although it’s not entirely ‘business as usual’ right now, we’re working hard to provide as normal a service as we did before, including what we offer to prospective new families, many of whom need to finalise their childcare arrangements for the months ahead.

“Researching a nursery for your child is a huge decision and one we don’t take lightly. Yes, we are very much a face-to-face business but virtual consultations and tours make this as close to the real thing as possible, allowing parents to gain a brilliant insight into nursery life and to meet our staff, while staying safe with their children at home. By reducing unnecessary traffic in the nursery, we’re protecting the children in our care, our staff and potential visitors at the same time.”

Balgillo Nurseries are located in Broughty Ferry (Torridon Road, Queen Street and Langlea Place), and Ardler Village.

For more information, or to arrange a visit to any of the nurseries, please telephone Pamela or Kim at Balgillo Nursery Ardler Village on telephone (01382) 489886, or contact them via www.balgillonursery.co.uk.

Life After Lockdown

So how might nurseries adapt as lockdown restrictions relax?

Until a national decision is made, nurseries are only permitted to have key worker children attending. Looking at other countries, it would be reasonable to assume that nurseries will need to adapt their practices. Balgillo Nurseries are considering a number of changes while they await guidance from the Scottish Government.

Drop-off and collection – parents / carers may be asked to wait in a separate area while their child is welcomed into or out of the nursery.

Reconfiguring spaces – re-looking at the capacity for age-specific rooms / spaces to allow smaller groups of children to play at one time.

Maximising the use of outdoor spaces – continuing to use our outdoor area as an extension of inside, thinking creatively about how children can continue to play safely outdoors.

Eating – staggering snack and lunch times for children and staff.

Surfaces, toys and equipment – continuing to ensure high levels of cleaning throughout the nursery day, particularly in relation to toys, equipment and soft furnishings.

Personal hygiene – making fun of extra hand washing with songs and games as well as washing hands more effectively and more regularly.

Digital world – maximising technology to keep communications open while reducing person-to-person contact, from virtual tours for prospective families to online management meetings and video conferencing with external visitors who support the nurseries.

Encouraging parents to sign up to nursery social media channels and creating messaging groups for staff wishing to keep up-to-date professionally and socially.

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