AFTER being badly hit by the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, resulting in three month’s closure and inevitable redundancies, Corwen Day Nursery is back in action.

According to nursery owner, Carmen Roberts-Davenport, the team of staff have adjusted well to the “new normal” way of working and the nursery is on the road to recovery and supporting families to return to work.

Carmen said: “The nursery was doing so well at the beginning of the year, we had received a Green Score in our ECERS assessment from Denbighshire County Council for the education that we deliver at the nursery and February was a record month for us in terms of revenue.

"The following month the country went into lockdown and the last six months has been an incredible journey.

"On March 27, I made the difficult decision to close the nursery as had so many fellow nursery owners because I could not operate at a loss and at the time some of my team were nervous about coming to work.

“Redundancies were inevitable for the business to sustain and it was done fairly, and a scoring system was used. I could foresee that there would be a downturn in business when we would reopen, and we still had huge overheads that we were accountable for when we were closed including maintenance contracts, insurances, and a mortgage. It has been a testing time for businesses, and I know many other nurseries have also had to make redundancies. I was particularly sad to learn that the nursery who won Nursery of the Year for Wales 2019 when we were awarded runner up has closed her doors for good due to the pandemic.”

The nursery was closed for a total of three months and Carmen made use of this time, updating policies and organising training for the team, deep cleaning, and sorting out each room in the nursery.

Many of the outdoor resources and areas were repainted along with The After-School Club upstairs.

Carmen is also the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) network chair for North West Wales and sat in on weekly conference calls with the NDNA, Welsh Government and Denbighshire County council. Carmen said: “I am truly grateful to NDNA Cymru for all that they did on behalf of the sector including fighting for support and recognition from Welsh Government.”

“At the beginning of June we began preparing to reopen the following month. A detailed Covid – 19 risk assessment was drawn up and we took advice from nurseries that had remained open whilst we were closed.

"Hand washing stations were set up outside and a staff meeting was held with the team to discuss new procedures and to go through the risk assessment. The Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme (CCAS) was a lifeline when the nursery reopened, and it paid for childcare for keyworkers until August 31.

"The Childcare team at Denbighshire were so efficient and Dawn Anderson, Denbighshire’s Childcare and Play Development manager was in regular contact with the nursery. All the children returned to nursery happy and excited to see their friends and we had good summer holidays and enjoyed going to the river Dee with nets and doing sporting activities on the field.

Carmen concluded: “We are extremely passionate about delivering high quality care and will continue to strive for excellence. We now spend even more time outdoors and often have mealtimes outside.

"We are fortunate that we have plenty of space and enough puddle suits for the children to wear when the weather changes. We are going through copious amounts of liquid soap and sanitiser, cleaning more than ever and our washing machine and tumble dryer are constantly on. The children’s well being is paramount and myself and my positive and proficient team will ensure that all the children will continue to have quality experiences and the best start in life at our nursery.

"I am grateful to the parents who continue to support us and trust us to make the best decisions for their children.”

For more information on Corwen Day Nursery, call 01490 412231 or email: