One of Oxford University’s nurseries is to remain open for children of key workers. The nursery will also invite children from two other local nurseries whose parents provide an essential service.

Oxford University has already closed four of its five nurseries as part of its response to Covid-19. Last Monday, the university moved into the fourth stage of its Emergency Response Plan. As a result, they have now closed many of its buildings with only essential work taking place in the remainder. As well as research relating to Covid-19, staff involved in core functions such as animal welfare, security, and building maintenance are still working in University buildings.

Nationwide the UK has gone into lockdown, with only key workers being advised to continue to go to work as normal. Those include doctors, nurses and NHS staff as well as core services such as teachers, supermarket staff and others.

The reason why the university nursery has invited children of key workers from the two local nurseries is due to a request from Bright Horizon. Bright Horizon runs the operations of both the five Oxford University nurseries and two local ones as part of a portfolio of around 300 in the UK. They requested that children of key workers from their Waterways and Oxford Business Park nurseries be allowed to attend the university one.

Jo Mason, the Head of Childcare Services at the University of Oxford said, “We forecast that the nursery will still only be approximately 20% full even with the extra children from the community nurseries.

“We are very pleased to be supporting our local community and key workers by keeping one of our nurseries open in this way and welcoming the children from the community nurseries.”