Reopening of Rainbows – a note from Lizzie & the team
I know many of you are wondering when we will be able to re-open the Rainbows groups. Unfortunately, that is not possible at the moment. There are several considerations that we must take account of –
The current guidelines state that there should be no close contact beyond the family or support bubble – with the ideal being maintaining a 2m separation. As you might expect, toddlers don’t understand that, which makes distancing difficult. Toddler groups are not described as primarily educational, but social, so they are not covered by the guidelines for schools and nurseries. As adults stay with the children and we are focused on providing social opportunities for adults and children, we cannot claim that we are educational.
The cleaning requirements will need careful consideration before we can re-open. We must ensure that we can thoroughly clean the premises after use and that we all have sufficient access to toilets and wash basins. In addition, toys cannot be shared by the children and must be cleaned between individuals. We would be unable to use toys that encourage sharing and turn-taking, such as the home corner, garages, play-dough, ride-ons or toys that cannot be wiped or easily washed clean (i.e. no soft toys, dolls with clothes or hair). This would severely limit the play opportunities for the children.
One of the biggest problems to be overcome in this pandemic is the team itself. Many of the volunteers are more mature (active retired) and so are vulnerable to COVID 19. Several have health problems that increase their vulnerability and others have vulnerable family members.
All this means that we cannot re-open Rainbows yet. We are constantly looking at the changing guidelines and are looking for ways to make Rainbows happen in the safest and best way when the guidelines permit.
The whole team are missing you all, In the meantime, please keep safe and be sure that you are in our prayers.
Lizzie and the Rainbows team xx