Maureen’s Monday Update

Dear Parents and Staff,

Another week and according to Nicola, another few weeks of lockdown.  We have been blessed with the weather and the sunshine makes everything that bit brighter!

The children in the nursery at Walker Street are enjoying the freedom of the garden and the Churchyard, and our new babies have settled in beautifully.  As always the staff have all been superb.

Nikki is enjoying a well earned break and she is tackling painting her new garden fence.

A few of the staff have been given a provisional acceptance at Glasgow University to start the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Child Care, well done everybody!  Several staff have already completed this degree and another group are well on their way on the course.  This is a great achievement for them all and for the nursery. It is wonderful to see staff grow in confidence and competence when they complete this degree.  I thank them for their commitment and professionalism.

For preschool children, the transition programme planned between our nurseries and our school primary one teachers is to be based around the book ‘Going On A Bear Hunt’. I am working with the staff to give you some ideas how to develop this with your child. We are trying to arrange a different staff member reading the story for you and hope this will be available next week.

I have just received information from the City of Edinburgh Council which gives more detail. Please find the information below, and should you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact me.

P1 Transition Information

From my home to your home.

Best wishes


Lockdown Recipes – Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce


1 chopped onion,

garlic puree,

1 tsp paprika,

1 tsp turmeric,

basil leaves,

1 tbsp oregano,

400ml chopped tomatoes,

1 tin tuna (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a pan

  2. Add the garlic, onion and spices and cook for a few minutes.

  3. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes

  4. Cook for roughly half an hour.

  5. Add tuna to the sauce and the very end (if using) and warm through.

  6. Serve with your choice of pasta

Serves 4

Lockdown Recipes – Beef Chilli


2 large onions,

500ml mince,

2 large peppers (any colour),

2 tablespoon of tomato puree,

2 x tinned tomatoes,

1 x tin of kidney beans or baked beans,

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper,

2 teaspoon of paprika,

1 teaspoon of ground ginger,

4 teaspoon of cinnamon,

4 teaspoon of cumin,

2 x beef of vegetable stock cubes


  1. Dice the onions and peppers

  2. In a large saucepan, fry the mince, onions, peppers and all spices with a little vegetable oil on medium heat until soft

  3. Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and ½ a cup of boiling water. Cook for 1 hour on a low heat

  4. After cooking for an hour add the kidney beans and heat through.

  5. Serve with rice, taco’s or baked potato – yum!

Serves 4.

Maureen’s May Update

Dear Parents and Staff

A new month and hopefully a new way forward. I was heartened by a recent piece of research which suggests that children do not spread the virus. So whilst we continue with the lockdown, we pray for a consistent lockdown trend and hope a vaccine arrives as soon as possible.

As mentioned in previous letters, I am assessing our financial situation on a month to month basis and as such there are no fees being charged for the month of May.

To ensure that we adhere to social distancing in the nursery, we have reached our safe capacity and now unable to provide further places at Walker Street at present. Thank you to all our keyworkers who have given us their weekly childcare needs. This has enabled us to offer childcare to some vulnerable families.

Nikki will be on holiday for the next two weeks and Steph McQueenie will be leading the team. Should you require any information, please contact the following numbers and emails:

Maureen Crandles – 07789 937 055 or

Walker Street Nursery – 0131 226 5751 / 0131 241 0058 or

Finally, Nikki has been asked for some of our lovely nursery recipes which we will send out every day next week – enjoy!

Best Wishes,


A note from Maureen

Dear Parents and Staff,

We are now in the next phase of lockdown and I hope you are managing to adapt to your new way of life. I have definitely managed to slow down and adjusted my routine to a much calmer pace. We have been blessed with beautiful weather which always makes life more pleasant.

The thing I miss most is hugging my family and I am sure you are all the same. I know the staff on furlough will be missing your children very much. We have been instructed that staff on furlough cannot be involved in nursery work and I know that is hard for them. Similarly the children will be missing their friends.

I have asked Nikki to look at some form of communication between the children so hopefully we can get this up and running soon.

If I could also ask that when you have a moment, please update your app on the app store – there a few bugs that need fixing!

We have some scavenger hunt ideas for the ideas for the children below – good luck!

Scavenger Hunt Ideas

I hope everyone is keeping well.

From my home to yours,



Maureen’s Easter Update

Dear parents,

This must be the strangest Easter we will have experienced.  As I look out over the garden, it is first time ever that there are no grandchildren running around, searching for Easter eggs.  Still, we are all doing the right thing and staying safe.  I am sure your children will still enjoy the day.

The staff working have been doing amazing and creative things with our small group of children and they are having lots of fun.

Phil and Ozzy, two of our Jannies, (maintenance managers as they like to be called) are painting for Scotland and the children will return to their nurseries freshly painted.

Nikki has been busy compiling some fun Easter ideas for you to try with the children which you can find below:

Easter Activity List

I wish you all and your lovely children a happy, healthy Easter.

God bless you all.

Best wishes,


Active Home Learning Ideas & Learning Through Play Opportunities

Below is a selection of ideas to consider for your child during this period of school closures. We are not suggesting you HAVE to do these things, but we are offering them as suggestions in case you run out of your own ideas! Also, keep an eye out for more fun ideas uploaded on our app daily.

You can also keep in touch with us through your child’s learning journal. Why not upload photos and comments about a challenge your child has completed, or share with us something that your child has been doing/exploring within their own free play, or maybe just a photo of family event you have all enjoyed. We can’t wait to see what exciting things you have all been doing from home.

Top Tips

  • Remember all children are different and have their own likes, dislikes, interests, and own timetable of development.

  • Children respond readily to routine and at present their daily/weekly routine is going to be different. Try to establish a daily routine around mealtimes, play times and rest times.

  • Offer the challenges and play ideas only for as long as it is enjoyable for your child – this might only be for 15 minutes or less for most of these activities and you can always go back to them at any time.

  • Allow lots of opportunity for your child to enjoy free play with their own toys, following their own interests and use this opportunity to observe what motivates your child and consider different ways you could develop their own interests.

Communication & Language

Read aloud to your child in your home language – encourage your child to choose the book, join in with a familiar story, hold the book themselves, turn the pages themselves, make up the story/retell the story by looking at the pictures.

Spend some time saying rhymes together/sing songs – revisit old favourites, listen to some familiar ones online, learn some new ones, action rhymes are usually the most engaging for our children

Make up a story together, write down the story as your child tells it to you, if they would like to draw their story encourage and support their mark making by writing simple captions for their pictures. Maybe they could share their story with other family members

Make a card to send to a relative or friend

Health & Well Being

Allow your child to help you prepare their snacks and meals, washing and preparing fruit or veg, spreading their own butter, serving out portions, pouring own drinks, washing up their own plate, cup and cutlery

Encourage your child to think about what you might need from the shops, gather their thoughts on what they would like to eat and write down their ideas and support them to find the products at the shops

Have them help you clean, dust, sweep, tidy the house!

Help to wash the car or their bike/scooter

Help to tidy up the garden/water house plants/feed pets/plant seeds/feed birds

Have a daily local walk/cycle/scooter or visit local park for fresh air and exercise (if we can!)

Check out the Cosmic Yoga & Go Noodle on Youtube – fun interactive video clips

Numeracy & Mathematics

Support them to sort out clothes for washing, organising items by colour for the machine, matching socks, fold clothes, put items away in the right place

Play family games such a snap, bingo, snakes and ladders

Look out for opportunities to count amounts, spot/say or read numbers on signs when out and about on doors/buses (if we can go outside!)

Baking opportunities to explore size, amount and weight

Water play exploring items which float/sink, fill containers different amounts using different sized spoons

Expressive Arts

Listening to music, dancing and playing party games such as musical bumps, musical statues

Use water and different brushes such as decorator’s brushes/rollers, old toothbrushes/scrubbing brushes for mark making on outside paths and walls

Offer opportunities to cut and stick with paper and fabric

Use cardboard boxes, tubes, packaging to make models

Use pots and pans to create drums to play along with different types of music

Make Playdough – use different shaped jars, tubs and boxes as cutters – add stones, sticks to add decoration

End Of Week 2 Update from Maureen

Dear Parents and Staff

That’s another week of self-isolating over. My intention was to give my house the love and attention it deserves but sadly I have failed. I will do it next week!

I hope your home-schooling is going well and to help you out, we will be putting out some more ideas on the app this weekend.

A few parents have e-mailed us to say they have been charged fees for April, please be assured no fees have been charged but we cannot amend your standing orders or voucher payments, this must be done by you. Any payments received will sit as a credit on your account, should you wish these returned please note the following

  • Standing orders can be returned if you e-mail your bank details to Susan at

  • If you have paid by voucher and wish this returned, you will need to contact your voucher provider, request their bank details and reference required to ensure they allocate this back to your voucher account correctly. Once you have this information please forward to Susan at

Our little group of key-worker children are doing well and thoroughly enjoying the extra attention they are being given by the lovely staff. They are all experts at hand washing including our babies.

The staff currently working are enjoying their 3-day working week and like having even more time to play with the children. They are missing their furloughed colleagues and I wish to express my thanks again to everyone who agreed to be furloughed.

As always, I send you best wishes, keep safe.


Maureen’s End Of Week Update

Dear Parents and Staff,

We have now completed our planned tasks for the first week (I think). A huge thank you to the managers who have helped coordinate all of your arrangements in the Cobra room at 10 Walker Street office!

Nursery Arrangements

  • No 10 Walker Street is the only nursery open

  • There are 11 children registered there as category one key worker children

  • The staff appointed there who volunteered to work are:

  1. Nikki Monaghan -Nursery Manager

  2. Jose – Old Coated House

  3. Amy – 10 Walker Street

  4. Lilly and Alex – Doune Terrace

  5. Steph, Kay and Astra – Melville Street

  6. Nic (Admin) – Early Days

  7. Isabel (Admin) – Walker Street

  8. Sylvie (Cook) – Doune Terrace

  9. Phil – Maintenance Managers (Jannies)– Walker Street

  10. Ozzy –  Maintenance Managers (Jannies)– Melville Street

Sincerest thanks to our staff who volunteered to help.

The staff chosen will work a three day week and will have their hygiene training form Nikki on Monday. She will be the main contact for key worker parents at Walker Street. I am working from home as well as Susan (accounts) and Lillian (book keeper).

The remaining staff have generously agreed to the furloughs arrangement and I thank them for that.

Contact details are:

I will try to keep in touch weekly for as many updates as I can give. In the meantime keep safe and give your beautiful children a hug from us.

Look out for some fun daily ideas on our App also!

Warmest Wishes



Dear Staff

We have now collated the registers of children who will be attending nursery based at Walker Street.  This has enabled us to identify the number of staff that will be required in order to be able to provide care for these children.  The children are from all four nurseries and on average there will be between seven and twelve children attending on a daily basis.

I would like to thank everyone who volunteered to work, similarly thank you to all staff have expressed an interest in being placed on furlough.   Please find below a letter which explains in more detail the furlough process.

Letter explaining potential furlough

Once you have read the letter, you are required to email HR at by 1pm on Wednesday 25th March.  Please can you include the following information in your email :

Full Name


And one of the following statements:

  • I wish to volunteer to be placed on furlough
  • I wish to remain at work

If we move to a furlough situation, we will take into account a number of factors when considering the team which is to remain in work.  Where possible, we will select the staff that are to remain at work from those who respond that they wish to do so.  I must advise of the need to ensure that key a range of key skills/knowledge/roles and training is covered and that if this is not available from the pool of individuals who wish to remain in work we will need to look at those who have volunteered to be furloughed.  I must also advise that, depending on the response, it may not be possible for all of those who wish to remain in work to continue to do so. If this is the situation we will select those who are to remain based on the nurseries requirements, the staff that have not been selected will be placed on furlough.

Thank you once again for your patience and your support, I will keep you updated as and when information becomes available to me.

Best wishes