Dear parents and carers
This last year has been a very different and challenging time. The global pandemic has created changes in the way in which we are able to deliver our services, changes which have often come with short or little notice. I have often started letters to you only to be distracted by yet another change, but I wanted to write to you all today to provide an update and information about some more FREE activity packs we have available.
MASKK is currently running on a reduced team, like other businesses we are struggling with at times a number of staff off at once due to isolating and none covid reasons too. To aid with this some of us have been working 6 days a week to maintain the services we can but I apologise that this reduced our communication with you all. Due to managing the on going changes and developments it also means some things might feel last minute.
This week we have received a lot of enquiries asking why are we still not able to open fully. I wanted to confirm that despite schools returning, and shielding ending, there are still ongoing Covid-19 restriction in place that settings like ours must continue follow to ensure we keep the children and our staff team safe. We understand this must be frustrating and we are doing everything we can to increase our numbers again. The Department for Education has produced this guide for parents and carers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
The current social distancing restrictions mean on Saturdays we have 10 places (pre-covid this was 16) and in holidays we have 5 or 6 (pre-covid this was 12).
We know some of you have not had a session since last February or March, or you are not receiving your enhanced package. We are working with SNIPS to try and help where we can and decisions have been made on various aspects including the child’s ability to socially distance and the additional care they might need such as help toileting. Please contact SNIPS if you require any urgent support as they might be able to help in other ways too. Special Needs Inclusion Playcare Service can be contacted on (0114) 273 5368 or by email: SNIPSBusinessSupport@sheffield.gov.uk
As the restrictions start to ease and more alternative measures are put in place we do hope to welcome more children back. And where possible we are giving even an odd sessions to those waiting to return when another children isn’t able to attend. As a staff team we are now testing twice a week and most of us have had at least one vaccine, with the second ones due the end of May or early June.
Those of you who we have already been able to offer a service to we hope that the changes have not limited your child’s experiences with us. We’ve been putting extra time and resources into the planning of individual activities to allow social distancing and we’ve particularly enjoyed slime and water lately. Please continue to let us know if your child is going to miss a session so it can be offered to another child. To read our latest MASKK Covid Quick Guide click the image below.
This Easter holiday we have been given some funding from Sheffield City Council and the Department for Education to create some FREE Holiday Activity Packs. These are primarily for children who recieve free school meals but also for other children who would benefit from something to do at home. They are being designed by myself and Ignite Imaginations to be adaptable for most abilities too. To request one for you child/children please fill in this form: https://forms.gle/FJZNc2pEJ53rh3Cj6
Please note that due to staff absence the best way to stay in touch with us is via our main phone numbers: 0114 2395739 or our mobile 07784838169. You can text at any time, but to catch us on the phone the best time to call: term time is Monday to Thursday 1pm – 5:30pm or Saturdays 10:30am – 2:30pm or holidays any time between 8:30am and 5:30pm. If you’ve got any specific questions for me I can be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to see you all soon