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News Report Page 9 of 11
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What you need to know if your child is set to start School in September

UNDER the current circumstances, no 1 knows what School is going to look like at the start of the new academic year. While some Schools have talked about opening for 4 days, others have proposed shortened days or alternative weeks. For many working parents, this is going to be difficult to juggle.

Children in England must begin full time education when they reach compulsory School age, with most starting reception in September after they turn 4. However, there is a little known option to delay this for up to 2 terms, with parents retaining the right to have their child's School place kept open should they choose to defer. An extra term at their local Nursery could be all a child needs to help them to get to grips with the expectations of School life.

A survey by Busy Bees Nurseries which gained 945 responses from parents of pre-School children has revealed that 44% of parents didn't know whether or not they would defer their child's place in reception. This indicates that parents may need further guidance or that they simply don't have enough information regarding their own personal circumstances to make an informed decision.

A further 32% of parents would consider delaying their child's transition to School, with 36% of those parents stating that the limited hours that may be offered by Schools will not meet their needs. Many are also concerned that social distancing measures in place will be too strict for their children to follow.

Deena Billings, Head of Quality at Busy Bees, said:- "At the start of the new School year in September, many children will have only just returned to some form of normality and they will be confronted with further change and instability when they start School for the 1st time. Experts recognise that for some children, these challenges will impact their wellbeing, and so it may be some parent's preferred approach to defer their child's place at School. An extra term at Nursery may be all a child needs to get them ready for School life. Each child is different and we recognise that while this may not be the right choice for everyone, we want to ensure that parents understand all of the options available to them in order to make an informed decision."

Nurseries offer the vitally important preparation needed for the School transition; a process that needs to be handled with sensitivity. For many children, the pandemic means they have missed out on almost three months of becoming School ready.

As part of its plans for life after lockdown, Busy Bees is proposing a temporary 'Fast Track to School' programme, whereby all children starting School in the new academic year can remain at Nursery for 1 or 2 terms, depending on their age or developmental stage. The programme would ensure that the valuable time that has been missed in preparing children for School is made up to guarantee that children are not disadvantaged, while providing support to ensure that transition into School will be seamless.

The initiative would also give Schools a full term to help pupils already attending School to catch up with any missed learning while practicing safe social distancing, in an environment familiar to the child amidst the disruption.

While this could be an attractive option for many, funding will be the main barrier to deferral, with only 9% of parents likely to keep their children at Nursery without the availability of the Government childcare allowance, which stops when the child reaches School age.

Busy Bees is currently in discussion with Local Authorities and Schools about its proposal, and the funding options that may be available to parents.

Calling Local Authorities and Schools to consider its proposal, Deena added:- "We recognise that this is a complex situation for parents, and like them, we want to give children the best start in life, whether that be at Nursery or School. Nurseries will be well positioned to provide stability and a robust curriculum. At Busy Bees, we have our own curriculum which can be adapted to meet the needs of individual children and ensure that when a child starts School, they are confident and ready to learn. We are not suggesting that this is exclusive to Busy Bees and our proposal has been shared with the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) and the large providers group."

Annamarie Hassall, Director of the National Children's Bureau, said:- "NCB welcomes this initiative; the priority focus must be on children's emotional wellbeing as they start School. The unprecedented disruption through the Covid-19 pandemic means that many parents are concerned about their child being ready for reception. By helping parents to look at the options that could work, securing the best transition from Nursery to School, Busy Bees puts children's needs and development 1st and foremost while showing compassion and understanding for the concerns of parents."

The Tick-ing Time Bomb

THE joint hottest May 2020 on record and an unseasonably wet and humid June 2020 has created ideal breeding grounds for:- fleas, ticks and worms across our outdoor spaces, according to experts. Although a recent:- 'European monsoon' in June 2020 was welcome news to gardeners, bringing much needed rainfall after a drastic dry spell, subsequent humidity and temperature highs have created perfect conditions for some of the UK's most dangerous parasites. According to experts at the leading pet care brand Bob Martin, fleas and ticks thrive best in warm, humid weather, and with lockdown easing, the company is warning pet owners to be vigilant over the summer whilst on walks or staycations. Bob Martin's research has also identified a tenfold spike in demand for people looking to purchase a companion animal whilst in lockdown; with online search volumes for cat and dog adoptions and purchases at all time highs. Aurelie Gayraud, Senior Brand Manager at Bob Martin, says the UK's increase in potentially inexperienced pet owners, combined with the heat and humidity, has created a perfect storm for parasites coming into contact with us and our furry friends.

Aurelie comments:- "With the country coming out of lockdown, we'll all be itching to get outdoors to make the most of the Great British summertime. But we think a more unwelcome itch could be making its way onto our pets and into our homes if we're not careful whilst out and about. We've seen some really unusual weather patterns across the UK in recent months, and when you twin this with thousands of potentially 1st time owners purchasing or adopting a pet in lockdown, we could be facing one of the worst flea and tick seasons for years. Regardless of experience, it's really important that all pet owners keep on top of prevention and treatments, and ensure they're aware of the risks associated with flea, tick and worm infestations. It can be a nuisance at best, or at worst, life threatening for you and your pet. ick bites can cause Lyme's Disease in humans, a potentially life-threatening infection, and, as well as being itchy and painful, flea bites can also carry diseases and worms. Only 5% of a flea's life cycle takes place in your pet's fur, with the remainder in your home. As a result, it's incredibly easy for infestations to spread rapidly in our homes. ou can take steps to avoid this, but consistency is key. Your dogs, cats and your home should be treated with a flea and tick control product to keep you and them safe from unwanted parasites. With lockdown easing, we want everyone to get out and enjoy the beautiful British countryside as much as possible, but we also want to ensure people are aware of the risks and safe in the knowledge they've prepared and protected their pets for the great outdoors."

Un-locked loving in Liverpool

SINGLE people in Liverpool have gone the ⅓ longest without sex during lockdown, a study shows. Singles in and around the City managed to go an average of 17.37 days before breaking the rules to be intimate with someone outside their household, according to the survey by international dating app, happen. It comes as the majority of people who don't live with a partner head towards 100 days of frustration by not being able to date or have intimate contact with people outside their household.

Top 5 Cities to last the longest without love in lockdown!

Sheffield 18.39 days.

► Aberdeen 17.75 days.

► Liverpool 17.37 days.

► Edinburgh 17.24 days.

► Glasgow 16.27 days.

Top 5 Cities to break lockdown for love the quickest!

► Birmingham 11.58 days.

► Nottingham 12.33 days.

► Cardiff 12.78 days.

► Coventry 13.92 days.

► Norwich 14.24 days.

The  findings come just 2 weeks after the Government introduce the:- 'love bubble,' which allowed some singles to include a person living alone, as part of their lockdown household.   It is still illegal for most couples who live in different homes to have sex indoors or outdoors and if not in a relationship, and in a support bubble, stay overnight and they risk ₤100 fine if caught.   The law was brought in after  Professor Lockdown, Government Advisor, Neil Lockwood, was forced to quit for reportedly entertaining his married lover.   The study found that singles across Britain are amongst the most rebellious in society, with 40% saying they had met with others outside of their household and broke social distancing rules for romantic purposes during lockdown. When meeting up romantically, 62%  singles say they have hugged their lover, 51% have touched and 51% have admitted kissing, and a hefty 44% have engaged in sexual intercourse. ⅔ of single Brits believe that sexual intercourse and intimacy is important when getting to know someone new, the study revealed.

Marine Ravinet, Head of Trends at:- 'happn,' said:- "Being intimate with someone is of course so important when beginning a new relationship. We need to make so many different connections when we are getting to know a new crush. But the less people break the rules, the sooner singles will be able to get back into normal dating. Meanwhile there are loads of opportunities to meet up virtually. With a bit of creativity, there's nothing to stop singles getting a bit more intimate without risking a fine or spreading the virus!"

Research by ourselves have also found that single people are even more worried about falling in love with fake profiles, due to the restrictions. Plus, others have said that it makes dating more of a worry, as webcam dates are just not the same, and you can easily make mistakes. We would love to know your views about being single at this point in time. Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com and let us know what you think. If you don't want to use your name in any comments, please put that you don't want your name to be used.

Laura Ashley re-opens across Lancashire to commence 'everything must go closing Down Sale'

BRITISH retail heritage brand, Laura Ashley has confirmed that its stores in:- Birkdale, Preston, and Lancaster will re-open in June 2020 to commence its closing down sale, with dramatic reductions on fashion. Laura Ashley's extensive closing down sale launches with at least 50% off fashion in store and online, plus all furniture now 30% off. Everything has been reduced and has to go, including stock being cleared from the warehouse. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of these fantastic discounts while stocks last. The stores are 'COVID secure' and adhere to a strict policy of social distancing with a limited number of shoppers allowed in store at any time, as well as regular deep cleaning. Card payments are encouraged. Laura Ashley began in the 1950's, quickly becoming famous for its unique printed fabrics. Over time, the brand grew to become the household name of today, synonymous with quality fashion, interiors and home furnishings. Despite the store closures that will follow the 'everything must go' sale, the Laura Ashley brand will remain online and at retailers nationwide. The Lancashire stores will continue to trade until further notice. A spokesman for Laura Ashley said:- "There are some fantastic deals to be found in store, as everything is now reduced and, with at least 50% off fashion, we expect clothing ranges to sell out fast. We are extremely mindful of the current COVID crisis and customers can be assured that the store will be COVID secure."

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