Nursery apprentices working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic


As childcare settings in England get ready to reopen next week, three nursery apprentices share their experiences of working during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Jade Lee, Mary Upton and Nikki Clarke know what it’s like to work through a pandemic. Whilst thousands of nursery apprentices will return to work from 01 June, the three apprentices are already back supporting children in their settings.

They have shared their experiences in the hope that it might assist their fellow childcare practitioners with the transition back into work.

Jade Lee, 17

I have been working since the 1st April.

It has been quite strange not working with the usual people I would see day-to-day. But with the staff who have also continued to work, we have built stronger relationships and worked hard together as a team to provide a safe environment for the children of the frontline workers.

To protect everyone’s safety at nursery we have had to adapt some things like no water play and sand play. We are cleaning more regularly than normal, not allowing parents or guardians into the setting and collecting children from the front door, plus washing hands more regularly.

I have enjoyed working throughout this time because it has allowed me to work with new children and staff from our different settings and it has allowed me to become more confident within myself. I was also able to still work with my assessor via phone calls, and complete the final elements to my Level 2 Apprenticeship on time.

Mary Upton, 18

I was furloughed for 8 weeks and returned to work just over a week ago. There have been many changes made within the nursery to adapt to the current situation, such as where and how the parents drop the children off. There should only be one person dropping off and collecting and they should only enter nursery if absolutely necessary.

There are more garden times and specific cleaning routines that have been introduced into our routine.

I am glad to have returned back to work, to see other colleagues and the children. I think I have settled back in as usual and it has been easy to make these adaptions.

Nikki Clarke, 18

I have returned to work this week. I loved coming back, getting myself back into the routine and to use the skills from my level 3 early years apprenticeship in the Building Blocks Day Nursery.

I am happy to be at work and to be around some familiar faces. Although it has been great, I have been tired and I originally had a couple of worries of how everything would be getting back into my new routine.

Overall, I am glad to be back and looking forward to the nursery opening completely.

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