THE COVID cloud doesn’t have much of a silver lining but for one Limerick pre-school, it has pushed staff, parents and children to think outside the box.
To create a healthier environment for her little charges, Jenny Frost, manager at Our Lady Queen of Peace community pre-school in Janesboro decided to convert what had been a wilderness outside the school door.
“It was a small plot and nothing but a wasteland. But since we converted it, it’s amazing how much outdoor learning through fun and play the children have experienced,” she told the Limerick Post.
“Before this. many parents would have said they didn’t want their children going outdoors because it was cold or wet but now, they all come with their wet gear and wellies and they have marvellous fun.”
The pre-school got a grant to help landscape the area and now there is all manner of play to be had with sand, water and toys.
There are two sessions a day at the school with 18 children in each session and, says Jenny, “Covid has pushed us to rethink a lot of things and work much closer as a team to ensure everything is safe.
With six staff at the pre-school, Jenny has taken on extra cleaners to ensure that everything, including toys, are sanitised.
The school had to close during lockdown but re-opened at the end of August and Jenny says the “teamwork gets closer all the time. We have fantastic staff and we’ve become much more innovative since Covid.”