Daniela Hackett

Deputy Manager, LEYF Bushy Tails Nursery

What was a typical workday like before the corona crisis?
Before Covid- 19 I had just started at LEYF in March. I had been to my Induction Training and was feeling excited about my new adventure with LEYF. On my first day it was lovely getting to know the staff, meeting the parents and the children.

When the outbreak started, what was your initial reaction?
I was feeling anxious and worried about Covid – 19 about it coming closer to home, as I have family in Italy and Spain. As a new member of staff at Bushy Tails nursery,  it made me wonder about what would happen to the daily routine within the nursery.

What impact did this have on your day job and how did you adapt?
So that I could continue to go into work, my parents moved out and to stay with my grandad, due to my dad having diabetes and being at higher risk. It was amazing  that my parents this is for me and knowing that I could continue to support the nursery and the families during Covid- 19 – also knowing that my grandad is safe and is keeping well with my parents.

It was important to me to continue to support the staff, parents and the children by keeping in touch with emails and Zoom calls.

What are the big challenges you have faced / are facing as the pandemic continues?
To support the Nursery Manager in keeping the nursery open for the families to work on the front-line and for the staff who continued to work through the lockdown helping with staff who were feeling anxious or worried by talking to them and letting them know I was there to support them.

It was important to keep staff, parents and children happy and safe, knowing that they were continuing to learn new things within the nursery. As the pandemic continues, I have carried on supporting the parents, children and staff with any issues they may have.

How have you kept going through the tough times? 
It has really helped knowing that I could continue to work and make a difference by giving support to staff and families throughout lockdown.

Having a supportive husband and doing Facetime calls with my family, knowing they that they are all OK kept me smiling and motivated to do my best to support the nursery throughout lockdown.

What acts of kindness have you seen or shown that have made you smile recently?
The support from my Manager has been great, and also getting positive feedback from parents on the lovely home learning activities I am sending out during the Covid 19 outbreak.

It was lovely to use our online My LEYF  portal, learning new information to bring back to nursery and share with others.

Many things have made me smile, having the zoom training by June, Ricky and Mandy keep me motived to learn new skills. Also, the lovely card I received from June O’Sullivan made me smile with the lovely words written in the card.

What has this crisis taught you – both professionally and on a personal level?
Professionally having a supportive network with the nursery and the company knowing they are always here to support and motivate you. Knowing that my friends and family in my life always supporting me.

How are you trying to stay happy and healthy?
I continue to stay happy by spending time with my husband by having date night BBQ’s when the weather is hot. Talking to my family and friends knowing they are safe and well keeps me going.

I always continue to stay positive and continue to support others by letting them know I always here to talk. I have been learning to bake more and continuing taking my dogs out for a walk to keep me healthy.


Daniela is Deputy Manager at LEYF Bushy Tails Nursery & Pre-School