So everyone is talking about it. We can’t escape it. Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This week in my job I have been planning ahead. I’m not suggesting we run out and panic buy but I am recommending that you should talk to your employer and create a plan together. I have stocked up on a few basics and I am confident that if we do find ourselves in the unfortunate situation where we would have to self-isolate then I am satisfied that we have enough food and resources to provide for a large household with three children for a couple of weeks.
Those of us who look after school age and preschool children need to prepare for the case that schools, preschools and nurseries may close imminently without prior warning. I am sure that schools will provide home learning packs and lessons will be given over google classroom for older children, but I think it’s good to be prepared.
Think ahead now -
Check your art and craft supplies are stocked up, including colouring books. It is also very easy to print colouring pages off the internet if you can’t get out to buy any.
Make sure your baking ingredients are fully stocked. Children always enjoy baking, and this will be a great opportunity to bake and cook with your charges.
Search for resources you may already have in the house. I discovered lots of half used textbooks that the children have used in the school holidays. I also purchased some more, the children I look after like the Bond Assessment textbooks but for younger children there are plenty more options available including Collins easy learning books.
Pop into your local charity shop and see if they have any puzzles or Lego which will help entertain your charges over long periods of time.
Unfortunately not all of our families will have access to outdoor space but even if your charges just have a small outdoor space to run around in then have a think of how you can use the space. Plan assault courses, activities and games outside to keep the children moving as it’s inevitable they won’t want to stay inside all day.
Most importantly, please remember not to panic. Stay calm, otherwise your charges will pick up on your anxious or negative feelings. It’s important if they're old enough to discuss with them but make sure you talk with your employers first and reassure the children that they are safe and the best thing they can keep doing is to wash their hands! Here is a good website which gives some great tips on how to talk to children about coronavirus. https://www.theparentpractice.com/blog/corona#.Xmq5WK10eCR
Here are some more useful web pages for further information if you or your employers are concerned and have further questions:
The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about Coronavirus related to education. 0800 046 8687
The NHS website is being updated constantly. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The government website is also being updated https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
If you're still concerned take a look at this website which outlines how your employment may be affected. https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
We can all get through this unknown time together.
BAPN members, head over to BAPN’s Place - our closed Facebook group for members only where we will be discussing this further. Regards, Lizzie Watts