Working hand-in-hand with partners on key worker childcare

From festivals to flower planting, the children of key workers across Aberdeenshire are having a great time at childcare hubs set up in each area. In addition to the 17 school settings, Aberdeenshire Council is continuing to work alongside eight private nursery settings and 25 local childminders.

Staff from Flowerpots Nursery in Newmachar shared some of their experiences with us so far. 

Nursery manager Hannah Simpson told us: “Flowerpots has become a real adventure centre and has a great feeling of togetherness as we care for siblings and a mix of children. We have found that the children have adapted to their new environment really well and they are helping each other with activities, which is lovely to see. During such challenging times we are continuing to provide rich learning and quality experiences whilst giving the children the care, cuddles and reassurance they need.” 

The children at Flowerpots held their very own festival recently, creating their own tie-die t-shirts, bunting, performing on stage and having lunch cooked at the fire pit. Young performers took time to practice singing, dancing, gymnastics and even skateboarding before showing off their skills to their peers. 

Before cooking lunch at the fire pit, the children learned about risk assessment and fire safety then enjoyed sausages in pitta pockets with cheesy beans, followed by smores. The group made wristbands, tickets and seating numbers for their talent show, and one of the young people even played the role of a security guard. 

Hannah added: “We are caring for children from one years old to ten years old during this pandemic and everyone is learning and growing together.” 

Aberdeenshire Council service manager James Martin has been leading work to link families with partner providers. He explained: “We’re getting a lot of great feedback from the settings that have been able to stay open at this difficult time. It’s just brilliant to see children having such good experiences in these circumstances and we’re really grateful to all of those who are continuing to support our key workers.” 

Education and Children’s Services Committee Chair, Cllr Gillian Owen added: “I am truly blown away by the enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated by so many colleagues looking after children and young people at the moment. Both in our schools and in our partner settings staff are delivering a range of fantastic activities, putting smiles on faces and offering these young people much needed hope and encouragement. Their efforts should be applauded.”