Welcoming families back to in-person Bookbug Sessions
We have been encouraged and amazed by the response of our Bookbug community to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic over the past two years, adapting to online Bookbug Session delivery and then moving on to find creative ways to safely deliver in-person Bookbug Sessions whilst complying with COVID-19 guidelines.
'The pandemic has been challenging for everyone but has had a disproportionate impact on some children, families and communities.' Scottish Government Guidance, Wider Harms of COVID-19 – Supporting Children
Bookbug Sessions in every part of Scotland will play a crucial role in supporting the needs of families and helping develop the resilience and wellbeing of babies, toddlers and young children.
Scottish Book Trust is here to support you to welcome families back to Bookbug Sessions in your community. The following guidance has been updated in line with Scottish Government advice.
All Covid rules and restrictions have now been lifted in Scotland(this will open in a new window), but the virus has not gone away. Organisations should continue to communicate and work with their employees and those attending their activities to implement measures which will help supress the virus, such as:
- keeping your premises as well ventilated as possible
- wearing a face covering in indoor public places and on public transport(this will open in a new window)
- ensuring good hand hygiene and surface cleaning
Guidance for running in-person Bookbug Sessions
Key guidance documents from Scottish Government:
- Coronavirus in Scotland(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer workplaces and public settings(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare services(this will open in a new window)
- Information for parents and carers is on the Parent Club website(this will open in a new window).
Other things to consider when planning and delivering Bookbug Sessions
- Session Leaders can plan to deliver Bookbug Sessions, both indoors and outdoors, in line with their own organisation's Health and Safety Risk Assessments.
- While there are now no longer any limits on capacity, please consider what you feel comfortable with in your space.
- If you choose to wear a mask, you can still give families the usual big Bookbug welcome with your smiling eyes. As always, please wear your Bookbug T-shirt or Bookbug high-vis vest when running your sessions so that families can easily identify you.
- Sessions may now include some of Bookbug's favourite things like Lycra, puppets or Bookbug stickers. However, these should only be used if your organisation has deemed it safe to do so and you have appropriate hygiene and infection prevention protocols in place.
- Singing is now allowed indoors and outdoors but there is still an increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 because of the respiratory aerosols which are exhaled during these activities and the close proximity of participants(this will open in a new window). Your local Health and Safety Risk Assessment should determine if it is safe to sing during the Session and please remember we have a whole range of Session Plans(this will open in a new window) on our website to give you some inspiration.
- If your Bookbug Session is taking place in a venue which has a public venue licence you can always play music from the Bookbug app in your session to highlight the benefits of singing with babies and young children for their development(this will open in a new window). Please do encourage families to sing with their children at home and remind them about our Bookbug Songs and Rhymes app(this will open in a new window), the Song and Rhyme Library(this will open in a new window) and other resources(this will open in a new window) available on our website.
Key reminders for parents
- Look out for parents and carers who have had a new baby during the pandemic and are new to Bookbug. They may appreciate extra help and support to start sharing stories, songs and rhymes with their baby. There is some helpful information on our website about getting started with Bookbug.
- Let parents know where to collect their Bookbug Bags(this will open in a new window) from if they have missed out due to COVID restrictions.
- Remind parents that they can download the free Bookbug app(this will open in a new window) and access the Song and Rhyme Library(this will open in a new window) to continue sharing songs, rhymes and stories at home.
- We run an online Bookbug Session on Facebook Live(this will open in a new window) every Friday at 10am, with videos available to view afterwards. Families can watch this for free, which may be useful if they cannot access face-to-face sessions.
Further support from Scottish Book Trust
To help you prepare for sessions restarting we have a range of resources to support you as Session Leaders(this will open in a new window), including webinars and training(this will open in a new window), themed Bookbug Session Plans(this will open in a new window) and the Song and Rhyme Library(this will open in a new window).
The Early Years team at Scottish Book Trust can be contacted at email@example.com(this will open in a new window).