Co-op Childcare operates 45 nursery and pre-schools across the UK and strived to go above and beyond during the pandemic.
As well as remaining open for key worker children and vulnerable children. Co-op Childcare launched the Frontline Hero Support Fund.
The Co-op kick started the fund with an initial donation of £25,000 but in total, the campaign raised over £40,000, helping more than 150 parents working for the NHS and in other critical roles, to pay nursery fees during the outbreak.
Even before the pandemic, Co-op Childcare understood the importance of being involved in its wider community. An initiative close to their hearts is the Intergenerational care programme which involves pre-schoolers visiting local care homes to meet and spend time with the elderly residents. This inspired activity has seen truly unique and life changing friendships formed, but sadly, face to face visits have not been possible in the current climate.
Keen to keep up the positivity that the initiative delivered, the provider gave its intergenerational initiative a virtual makeover. Nurseries have been video calling care home residents and singing them songs, writing letters and making gifts for their elderly friends, including the iconic lockdown 2020 rainbow drawings.
Giving back to colleagues
Not forgetting the people at the heart of the nurseries, the Co-op Childcare said thank you to all colleagues that continued to work by giving them 10% extra pay, as well as 50% off nursery fees for their own children. Many colleagues were also provided Uber for Business to limit travel on public transport, free lunches and 20% off at Co-op food. For those who had to be furloughed, Co-op Childcare topped up furlough pay to 100%.
The team is now gearing up to its Open Day on 12th September. Families will be welcomed into their local nursery during their pre booked slot, to meet the team, get all their questions answered and have a nosy around.
The Open Day offers parents and carers across the country a chance to see first-hand what a Co-op nursery can offer and just how unique and personal the setting is.
Link to virtual tours: https://www.littlepioneers.coop/arrange-a-visit/
Reflecting on the past few months and looking ahead to welcoming new children, Sally Bonnar chief operating officer from Co-op Childcare said:
‘Supporting our colleagues to conduct their jobs safely and to the best of their abilities during this challenging time was essential, however we believe in a crisis it’s not enough to just tick the boxes. As a society, we have pushed the boundaries with initiatives to support our colleagues, key worker families and the wider community.
‘Safety has always been a number one priority, and in response to the pandemic we have strengthened all our protective, preventative and control practises. We are absolutely confident that we have the very highest standards across all 45 nurseries and during this time we have made sure that the children feel happy and protected. Parents have felt reassured that we have helped their children learn simple ways to stay safe and still learn, play and have fun, while our colleagues have kept children’s experiences, learning and development high on their agenda.’