Manager, LEYF Katharine Bruce Nursery
What was a typical work day like before the corona crisis?
Before the Corona crisis, my role as a nursery manager at Katharine Bruce Nursery was to ensure the day-to-day task of a nursery manager was completed. Working on occupancy, leading show-arounds, ensuring the well-being of the children and staff, all while embedding the LEYF pedagogy, LPDS and living the LEYF values with the team. The teachers attending training continued their self-development and shared new ideas with the rest of the team, posting activities on Workplace, sharing and gaining ideas from the other nurseries, attending managers and staff meetings once a month and supporting interviews to recruit new staff members.
When the outbreak started, what was your initial reaction?
My initial reaction was one of shock and disbelief when the outbreak was announced, I thought to myself, is this really happening?
What impact did this have on your day job and how did you adapt?
The Corona crisis has impacted, greatly, on my day to day job as the routine of the nursery has had to change. For example, hygiene, safeguarding and health & safety in the nursery needs to be more robust for the children, parents, and the team. We are ensuring that all outside professionals, contractors and visitors follow new guidelines around entry, set out by LEYF, before coming into the nursery.
What are the big challenges you have faced / are facing as the pandemic continues?
The biggest challenge I am facing at the moment is to ensure that the safety of the children, staff, parents and myself. This is paramount. Ensuring all PPE is worn correctly and at all times when needed.
How have you kept going through the tough times?
I have kept going through the tough times through self-believe and trusting in what I know. I am a strong and determined individual when it comes to a life crisis; throughout my career I have experienced life trauma that has shaped me into the woman that I am today. I have been able to adapt to changes made internally and externally, to differences within the workplace and dealing with difficult situations.
What acts of kindness have you seen or shown that have made you smile recently?
An act of kindness that I have seen (received) was verbal praise and chocolates from parents showing their appreciation for the work we are doing, also receiving emails of thanks. I encourage the team to rest, get at least eight hours sleep and make sure they are eating healthily, to help them through this crisis.
What has this crisis taught you – both professionally and on a personal level?
This crisis has taught me to take a step back to reflect on my life both professionally and personally. Having lost two close friends I grew up with to Covid-19. I need to ensure that I have a work life balance, and as the saying goes: “Tomorrow is promised to no one” [Walter Payton]
How are you trying to stay happy and healthy?
I am trying to stay happy and healthy by ensuring I am getting enough sleep, eating healthily, spending as much time as I can with my family on weekends, taking time to relax in the evenings and enjoying conference calls with June [O’Sullivan] and the other LEYF nurseries open in my area.
Yvonne is Manager of LEYF Katharine Bruce Nursery & Pre-School.