Mar 12, 2020

Coronavirus: FAQs & Updates

Coronavirus

At all of our nurseries, the safety and welfare of all children, staff and parents is paramount.


Coronavirus: FAQs

Many of you will have questions, especially concerning the payment of fees, during this current crisis with our nurseries being closed to all but key-workers children and children who are designated as vulnerable.

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions or potential questions below and our answers to those. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us, but please bear with us whilst we try to manage our responses at this challenging time.

Questions relating to key workers

1: How do I know if I qualify as a key worker?

On Friday 20th March 2020, the government published a list of key workers who would qualify to continue to receive childcare. This included workers in the following industries:

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

For further clarity on key workers and for more information, please see the guidelines outlined by the government. See the Government’s full guidelines here.

2: I am not a key worker but my partner is, do we qualify for childcare?

Yes. If one of more parents/guardians qualify as a key worker as outlined by the government, you are entitled to childcare. For guidelines surrounding who qualifies as a key worker, please refer to question 1.

3: I am not currently a parent at one of your nurseries, however, I am a key worker. Can my child come to one of your nurseries?

As you can understand, we are currently prioritising our current families who are key workers. However, please contact your local Old Station Nursery setting and we will do our upmost to provide care to your child.

Questions relating to vulnerable children

4: What constitutes a vulnerable child?

On Friday 20th March 2020, the government provided guidelines defining those children that are classed as vulnerable. Vulnerable children include:

  • Those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, including children that need support with behaviour management
  • Those with English as an additional language
  • Those in receipt of 2 year of EYPP funding
  • Those with parents in the armed forces
  • Those where court orders or restricted access arrangements are in place
  • Those that are, or who have previously, been looked after by the local authority or whoa re known to Social Services

This is not an extensive list, so if you have any questions regarding vulnerable children, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

Questions relating to opening times as of the 23rd March 2020

5: Are all nurseries within the group going to be open from Monday 23rd March?

Some of our nurseries are now closed, as there has either been insufficient demand, or too high a level of staff sickness. We will continue to open wherever we can, so please check first with the nursery manager.

Everything is changing minute by minute so the list below of closed nurseries is subject to change. Please contact your nursery manager to double check whether your nursery is open.

Closed: Faringdon, Mottershead, Wasps Watlington, Bampton and Small Friends

Closed from Thursday 26th at 6pm: Oxford Science Park and Heyford

Closed from Friday 27th at 6pm: Filkins, Henley, Innsworth (Gibson Rd), Uxbridge, Iver, Boston, Wombourne, Wolverhampton, Alvechurch and Barnt Green

Open next week, week commencing 30th March: Heath Mill and Houlton.

6: Who will the nursery to be open to from the 23rd March?

From our nurseries that are open, we will be open to children of key workers and children who are considered vulnerable who already attend one of our nurseries. Where possible, we warmly welcome new children of parents/guardians who are key workers or children who are considered vulnerable. Please contact the nursery that you are interested in directly to see if they have any available places.

7: I am a key worker and my child attends one of your nurseries, what time and when can my child attend nursery?

The nursery’s normal operating times will continue as usual. We will endeavour to keep all our nurseries open as normal during this difficult period, however, it is extremely likely that we may have to combine some of our sites and close some settings completely. Please rest assured, that we will only combine nurseries that are a reasonable travel distance apart. If this is something that will be happening, we will communicate with all parents in advance so that arrangements can be made.

Questions relating to fees if you are not a key worker

8: If I am not a key worker and therefore do not qualify to send my child into nursery, will I be charged fees for March?

You will already have received an invoice for March in advance of your children’s normal attendance pattern and these invoices should have been paid. We would be extremely grateful if you do not request a refund of these fees for that part of the month that your child is not able to attend the nursery. You may appreciate that we continue to have to pay staff, rents and other costs as they fall due. However, if you feel you would like to be refunded for sessions in March not taken, then we will issue a credit which will be held on your account and allocated against future sessions to be invoiced when the nursery reopens.

9: If I am not a key worker and therefore do not qualify to send my child into nursery, will I be charged fees for April and beyond?

You will not be charged for sessions in April that your child does not attend because the nursery is closed. Some of you may already have received your normal invoice for April because these were issued before we were advised that the nursery should close. We apologise for this and we will not be collecting payment by direct debit and we do not expect you to pay this invoice. However, we will of course be extremely grateful to any of you who feel that they are able to support their nursery financially by paying their fees as normal; this would certainly help us to recover from this financial crisis and return to normal as quickly as possible.

10: If I am not a key worker and therefore do not qualify to send my child into nursery, should I cancel my direct debit?

No, you do not need to cancel your direct debit. We will not be collecting April fees by direct debit. We will send a notification in advance of any future intention to collect by direct debit, which will only be when the nursery opens again to your children.

11: I currently pay part of my fees using Childcare Vouchers or an alternative method of tax-free childcare (TFC). I am not a key worker and therefore do not qualify for childcare at this time. Should I cancel my vouchers or TFC?

We would ask that you continue to send in your Childcare Vouchers/TFC, even if your child does not continue to attend the nursery during the period of closure, to support your nursery during this period. Any payments received by us will be credited to your account and used when we are allowed to fully reopen.

Questions relating to fees if you are a key worker

12: If I am a key worker but do not need to send my child into nursery, will I be charged fees for March?

You will already have received an invoice for March in advance of your children’s normal attendance pattern and these invoices should have been paid. We would be extremely grateful if you do not request a refund of these fees for that part of the month that your child is not able to attend the nursery. You may appreciate that we continue to have to pay staff, rents and other costs as they fall due. However, if you feel you would like to be refunded for sessions in March not taken, then we will issue a credit which will be held on your account and allocated against future sessions to be invoiced when the nursery reopens.

13: If I am a key worker but do not need to send my child into nursery, will I be charged fees for April and beyond?

You will not be charged for sessions in April that your child does not attend because the nursery is closed. Some of you may already have received your normal invoice for April because these were issued before we were advised that the nursery should close. We apologise for this and we will not be collecting payment by direct debit and we do not expect you to pay this invoice. However, we will of course be extremely grateful to any of you who feel that they are able to support their nursery financially by paying their fees as normal; this would certainly help us to recover from this financial crisis and return to normal as quickly as possible.

14: I currently pay part of my fees using Childcare Vouchers or an alternative method of tax-free childcare (TFC). Can I continue to use my vouchers or TFC if I am a key worker and qualify to send my child to nursery?

Yes, please continue to send your Childcare Voucher, Tax-Free Childcare and similar payments to the nursery as normal. Any unused amounts will be credited to your account and allocated against any future invoices raised when the nurseries reopen as normal.

15: I am a key worker and therefore qualify to send my child to nursery. I currently receive funding for my childcare. Will I still receive the Early Years Funding?

We are currently working with Local Authorities regarding this and nurseries will be updated as soon as we receive further guidance. However, all indications we have received are that Early Years funding entitlements will continue as normal.

16: I am a key worker and therefore qualify to send my child to nursery. I am struggling to pay my nursery fees due to the impact of coronavirus. What can I do?

Our main priorities are to support our families and dedicated nursery staff through what may be challenging financial times ahead. If you are struggling to meet your nursery fees, please talk to us so we can try and find a solution together.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Updated on 30/03/20

Due to insufficient and inconsistent demand, we are currently closed across most of our sites with the remaining few due to close this week. However, we ask that parents who are key workers and those with children classed as vulnerable remain in contact and inform us of their ongoing requirements, and where possible, we will strive to work with the local authority to re-open settings and provide care for these children. For further clarity on key workers and for more information, please see the guidelines outlined by the government here.

A reminder to all of our parents that you will not be charged for sessions in April that your child does not attend. Some of you may already have received your normal invoice for April because these were issued before we were advised that the nursery should close. We apologise for this and we will not be collecting payment by direct debit and we do not expect you to pay this invoice. You do not need to cancel your direct debit as we will not be collecting April fees by direct debit. We will send a notification in advance of any future intention to collect by direct debit, which will only be when the nursery opens again to your children.

If you qualify as a key worker and would like to keep us updated of your ongoing childcare requirements, or if you are a parent that has any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact your area manager. Area managers as follows:

Updated on 23/03/20

As a result of the current outbreak of Coronavirus, we have put together some information which we hope you will find helpful and provide guidance during these unprecedented times. All the information we have provided on this page is based on advice given by PHE (Public Health England).

This page will continue to be updated as and when we receive further information and news. We will, however, be sharing regular updates directly to our current parents as well.

We understand that this is a difficult and unfamiliar situation for everyone, however, we will continue to keep our communication lines open. If you have a particular question that you cannot find the answer to on this page, please contact your nursery directly via phone or email.

We will continue to work with all our families individually to ensure that we can do whatever we can to support you and your children during these unprecedented times.

Key workers

Following the announcement on Wednesday 18th March 2020 from the government declaring the instructed closure of schools and nurseries from Friday 20th March 2020, we are committed to remain open and provide care for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

On Friday 20th March 2020, the government published a list of key workers who would qualify to continue to receive childcare. This included workers in the following industries:

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

For further clarity on key workers and for more information, please see the guidelines outlined by the government. See the Government’s full guidelines here.

Vulnerable children

Within the same announcement on Friday 20th March 2020, the government provided guidelines defining those children that are classed as vulnerable. Vulnerable children include:

  • Those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, including children that need support with behaviour management
  • Those with English as an additional language
  • Those in receipt of 2 year of EYPP funding
  • Those with parents in the armed forces
  • Those where court orders or restricted access arrangements are in place
  • Those that are, or who have previously, been looked after by the local authority or who are known to Social Services

This is not an extensive list, so if you have any questions regarding vulnerable children, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

Further questions

We understand that this is a difficult and unfamiliar situation for everyone, however, we will continue to keep our communication lines open. If you have a particular question that you cannot find the answer to on this page, please contact your nursery directly via phone or email.

Thank you to all our parents for their continued support and commitment to us during these unprecedented times.

Other useful links

Government Covid-19 guidance: Click here

NHS 111: Click here

Self-isolation guidance: Click here

Vulnerable groups guidance: Click here

Public Health England: Click here


Updated on 20/03/20

The government has now issued a list of those that qualify as key workers.

To see the list of key workers, please visit the Government’s full guidelines here.

If you are on this list and think you qualify, then we will be happy to provide care for your children from Monday. Please contact your nursery manager and confirm your requirements.

If you do not fall into this category, but still require care, please make your needs known to nursery managers and we will be planning throughout the day to see if we can provide any help and support. I am sure you understand what a fluid situation this is and that everyone involved is doing their very best.


Updated on 19/03/20

Following yesterday’s announcement from the government declaring the instructed closure of schools from Friday and urging nurseries to follow suit, we find ourselves in completely unfamiliar territory – along with many others within the Early Years community and beyond.

Seeking clarification

Whilst we gain further clarification about the announcement and the necessary decisions required over the next 24 hours, we ask that our families remain patient and we thank you in advance for your understanding and continued support during this difficult time. Whilst we await full clarity on the situation from the government, we very much hope to be able to continue to provide some kind of support to our families and help them as much as we can.

Keeping you informed

Please rest assured that as soon as we do gain further clarification from the government, we will inform all of our families about what is happening. In this uncertain and stressful time, we ask that you remain kind to all our committed nursery staff as they continue to work hard to make our nurseries a nurturing, safe, inspiring and, most importantly, happy place.


Updated on 17/03/20

Following the latest government announcement, we will continue to remain open until further notice. However, we have reviewed our policies to reflect the most recent Government guidelines, and the following procedures will be implemented with immediate effect:

  • Children will not be accepted into the nursery if they have a temperature of 37.8 or above, or a new, persistent cough. If a child develops either of these symptoms whilst at nursery, parents will be contacted and asked to collect their child. Children must then remain at home for at least 14 days. This applies to all persons living within the same household i.e. if any one person presents with either of these symptoms, the entire household must stay at home for 14 days.
  • This also applies to all staff and any visitors/contractors who present with the above symptoms. In addition, we have also implemented risk assessments for all those visiting the nursery settings, including agency workers, and contractors etc. These will involve asking for disclosures relating to general health and recent travel information. External visitors to the nurseries will be limited to only those that are essential for the continued operation of the setting.

Being proactive during uncertain times

We understand how incredibly difficult these measures are for parents to manage, and we appreciate the huge impact this situation will have for you all, however, we must be responsive in these unprecedented and uncertain times, and ensure we follow the advice we are given, and do everything we can to minimise the spread of infection.

We are in close communication with Public Health England regarding the current public health situation. We welcome their guidance that the business of the country should continue as usual, while ensuring the latest public health advice is adhered to.

Public Health England advice

At the moment nursery care is continuing as normal with guidance from Public Health to encourage hand washing and the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Maintaining high levels of cleanliness and hygiene

Posters around the nurseries are displayed as a reminder of public health advice, which includes washing your hands regularly with soap and hot water or using hand sanitser gel.

All locations of The Old Station Nurseries will continue to follow advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England, as well as that of local government.

Guidance on how to protect yourself and others


Share this article:

Book a Tour

  • Parent Information

  • Child Information

  • Tour Information

  • Preferred date and time
    Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY

*This is not a confirmation of your tour, one of our Nursery team will endeavour to get back to you ASAP to confirm your date and time. If you are looking to arrange a tour within the next 48 hours, we recommend calling the Nursery directly.