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Role play and COVID-19 - what do you need to know?

COVID has changed life for all of us. As a parent, I’ve found myself homeschooling, re-learning things that - quite honestly - I never thought I’d need again. It’s changed the way that we interact with our families. It’s made us re-assess that matters most in life.


As a small business owner, it’s been incredibly difficult. We are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing and supportive customer base, and I can’t wait to be able to welcome you all back to Petite Street - and hopefully very soon!


Before we went into lockdown 3.0, some customers had questions - quite naturally - about the steps that we were taking as a role play centre to help keep everyone safe. They are questions that, once we are able to re-open our doors, I am sure will still be there. So, I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about the steps that we have taken, the changes that we have made, and the policies we have in place to ensure that you can enjoy your visit to our role play centre safely.


COVID-secure role play


Like every business, we are following strict guidelines with regards to cleaning, sanitation, and social distancing. We’ve always taken cleaning and sanitation very seriously, but social distancing is something that just wasn’t a concern before 2020. Well, it’s been almost a year now - so we are pretty used to it - and we’ve put in place numerous measures to help us do what we need to do to keep our staff and customers safe.


So, what have we done?

  • We’ve removed some of the tables in our cafe/viewing area

  • We’ve reduced our visitor capacity, and brought in a one adult per booking guideline

  • We allocate each booking their own table

  • We’ve created electronic menus for our cafe, and introduced table service

  • We’ve made all of our sessions pre-book only


Then, of course, there are things like the hand sanitiser stations, the rules around face masks, the perspex screens, and so on.


What about the play equipment?


Well, I’m glad you asked!


Our play equipment has always been subject to thorough and regular cleaning. With COVID, though, we’ve had to step this up a notch or six.


The first thing that we did was invest in additional equipment. This means that, at the end of each session, we remove the toys, the dressing up outfits, and the little knick-knacks. We take this away, and we sanitise it. We then put out new equipment ahead of the next session. And, of course, we disinfect all the surfaces, mop the floors, restore order to our little play town, and get ready to welcome our next group of guests.


The cuddly toys and dressing up outfits are the items that are, arguably, the hardest to clean. After all, you can’t just wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe and carry on. These need to be washed at a high temperature, and this takes a bit longer. It’s why we invested in additional equipment - as this allows us to keep many of the toys we know you all love and enjoy, and do it in a way that is safe.


There’s something else that we have done as well, though. We’ve invested in an antibacterial fogging machine. If you’ve seen Frozen 2, it makes Petite Street Playtown look like the entrance to the enchanted forest - kinda cool! It also kills any germs or bacteria that we may have missed, and gives us extra peace of mind that we are super-duper-clean and COVID-secure.


So is role play safe?


Any activity at the minute carries a certain degree of risk, and we all need to work together to keep that risk as Petite as possible. We know that, as a role play centre, we are taking all the necessary steps - and more - to keep our customer safe. The whole team here are dedicated to making this happen, and if we so much as develop a tickle in our throats, we take the stance that it’s better safe than sorry, and we stay at home.


We do understand, of course, that not all customers will feel comfortable returning to role play sessions straight away - and that’s fine. It’s important to us that you feel comfortable. You’ll notice that we have introduced some new classes to our timetable also. This includes messy play, and music and sensory classes. Here, each child has their very own equipment and space for the duration of the class, and everything is cleaned and sanitised between sessions. We still introduce elements of role play into these sessions - after all, it’s what we do best! - but these classes offer customers a different way to enjoy our role play centre in a COVID-secure way.


Got a question?


We are always happy to answer any questions that you might have, and we really do welcome them! If you’re not sure about something, just ask us. Think we could be doing something better? We are all ears! Love what we’ve gone, and think we’re doing a great job? We love to hear your feedback!


Whatever it is, we are here, and we are happy to help!


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