Managing Covid-19 Policy
It is important that everyone complies with the latest Government guidance on Coronavirus.
We have developed these Safe Operating Procedures based on guidance from the Department of Education and the National Institute for Health Protection specifically for Early Years. It is important that we adapt our everyday practices to ensure that we continue to offer the staff and children a safe environment. Hygiene is the key element of infection prevention and control. If any symptoms are displayed, families must be alert and self-isolate for the safety of everyone.
Covid-19 appears to affect young children less often and with less severity. Children’s role in its transmission is unclear.
Compassionate leadership is at the heart of what we do and we will do everything we can to be honest, open and to communicate with you. There will be a lot of anxieties and we acknowledge that it is OK to feel worried and that COVID-19 and the lockdown has had an impact on everyone.
Everyone involved in the day to day running of the nurseries will receive appropriate instruction and training on how to operate under the terms of the Safe Operating Procedures.
We aim to work in partnership with parents and trust that everyone understands and follows these Safe Operating Procedures.
The key principles of these procedures are:
- Any pupil, staff member, parent or visitor with coronavirus symptoms must not attend nursery and must isolate at home
- Increased cleaning processes are in place, throughout and at the end of the day.
- Children will stay in class groups (bubbles).
- Key class groups will be in place inside and outside.
Children and employees are welcome to attend nursery but must not be displaying any coronavirus symptoms, the most common being a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of taste and smell.
It is important that you seek medical advice if you are unsure.
It is important that children do not attend nursery if unwell for their own wellbeing and for the safety of others. Calpol or other medication that can mask fever symptoms should also not be given after 4am on the day children are due to come to nursery.
We would also ask that if your child or anyone within your household is being tested for COVID 19 as they have developed symptoms out of the child’s normal nursery attendance pattern that you send an email to inform us.
If anyone is experiencing any symptoms they cannot return to nursery until they have completed the required isolation period and be symptom free or have achieved a negative test result (proof will be required). Prompt exclusion is essential to preventing the spread of infection. Children and employees who are classed as clinically vulnerable should follow their medical advice before attending nursery.
It is preferable that your child only attends one setting to avoid mixing with different groups of children. Please speak with the Nursery Manager if this is going to be a problem or to make them aware that this is the case.
Drop off and collection of children
Parents are asked to drop off and collect their children at designated entrances and not to enter the nursery.
Please approach the nursery slowly when driving as there will be parents and children waiting to enter. If you can walk to nursery, please do so.
We will give you a limited handover, unless there is an important issue to discuss, as other parents may be waiting.
Any other information will be passed on via tapestry/Famly so please ensure you are checking this frequently.
Temperature and symptom monitoring
Routine temperature testing is not recommended as a reliable method for identifying coronavirus. Parents and employees should follow the NHS guidelines and, in particular, evidence of a high temperature and/or new continuous cough.
Travel to nursery
It is better not to share transport and to travel by car, bike or walk. Face coverings have been advised by the Government for use on public transport.
If you are going away on holiday whether in the UK or abroad then we would ask that nursery is informed as to the place of travel along with travel dates.
We would also ask that if members of the household are travelling, we are alerted to this and that the government guidance in reference to travel is followed.
Implementing social distancing
It is very difficult to avoid a level of physical interaction with young children and it is important to have their wellbeing at the centre of everything we do. If a child is in need of a hug, then it would not be fair to deny them this. To help with social distancing the children will only be coming into contact with their own class group and use of shared spaces will be minimised.
Drop off and pick up
Please ensure that while waiting to drop your child in for session you are respecting peoples personal space.
The outside area
Children will still have access to the outdoor area however this will be in their class/bubble. This will be thoroughly cleaned down between groups.
All employees will undergo a return-to-work induction and training on the new Safe Operating Procedures, with emphasis on good hygiene practices.
Fire drills and lockdown practice
If we have to respond to a fire or emergency lockdown, we will continue to manage social distancing, as far as possible. The safety of the children and employees will always come first.
We know that this is a very unusual and worrying time for everyone. It is very important that at the forefront of this heightened awareness of safe operating procedures, we do not forget that care and consideration must be taken of the need to ensure that everyone within the nursery community feels safe and secure. We will try our best to create a normal nursery environment and hope that you will bear with us.
We will concentrate on building secure attachments and we will continue observing and assessing the children, regularly updating Tapestry/Famly. We will not be able to carry out lengthy handovers. We want our team to spend time with the children, playing and building their relationships.
We would always speak with you immediately if we had any concerns. If your child is expressing any concerns or worries, it is important that you inform the key person/Nursery Manager.
Settling in sessions/transitions
Settling in sessions will be conducted in the child’s room. The Manager will give further guidance when booking in settling sessions.
Visitors will be permitted into the nursery where necessary. Interviews/meetings will be conducted away from the children where possible and adhere to Government guidelines.
Any contractors to the nursery will be reminded of National Institute for Health Protection guidance prior to entering the building.
These commenced from September 2021 and we will continue to follow Government guidance. We will ask for their individual Covid risk assessment.
Health, Hygiene and Safety
Reducing the spread of the virus
It is recognised that good hygiene and cleaning practices will significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the virus as well as everyone being alert to the symptoms. Doors and windows will be opened as much as possible.
An enhanced cleaning schedule will be implemented throughout and at the end of the day. Communal areas, door handles and shared facilities e.g. iPads, must be regularly cleaned.
The rate of hand washing must be significantly increased. Everyone, including children, must wash their hands on arrival at nursery. If no wash basins are available, sanitiser will be available. There will be regular opportunities for hand washing throughout the day.
Use of Tissues
The children will be supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves and others safe and this includes sneezing into a tissue (or their arm if immediate) and then to dispose of the tissue.
The children will be taken to the toilets and supervised. Hand washing signs will be displayed to ensure hand washing is thorough and the practitioners will talk to the children about why we are washing our hands.
All employees and children should wear clean clothing every day. Children should bring one bag with changes of clothing to last their weekly booking pattern and take it home with them at the end of the week.
All risk assessments will reflect the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Certain activities will be adapted or removed to reflect this risk e.g. extracurricular activities
Items from home
If your child requires a comforter e.g. soft toy or blanket, please bring it in a bag and then take home at the end of the day and wash it. We would prefer no toys or comforters to be brought into nursery but do understand that this could cause distress.
Resources at Nursery
The children will only share toys and activities within their groups. We will aim to sanitise items at the end of each day.
Responding to a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19
If a child is suspected of displaying coronavirus symptoms whilst attending the nursery, they should be collected as soon as possible, ideally within 15 to 30 minutes and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. The child must be tested before they return in line with the government systems of controls. They should then isolate for the recommended time frame.
Whilst waiting to be collected, they will be isolated from others in a designated area. An employee will stay with them and will wear PPE.
If the child becomes very unwell, we will follow our normal emergency procedures and call 999.
The isolation area will be cleaned once the child has been collected.
An employee who displays symptoms
In the event of an employee developing coronavirus symptoms whilst at work, they will leave work as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. They will be required to have a test before they return and isolate in line with the recommended guidance.
Government guidance is that PPE is not required for general use in nurseries to protect against COVID-19 transmission. Hand washing, effective cleaning and social distancing are the most effective measures. Gloves and aprons will be used for nappy changing and first aid.
Lateral flow testing
Twice weekly lateral flow testing is in place for all staff who wish to participate.
If an employee receives a positive result of an LFT but has a confirmatory PCR test within two days and the result is negative, the PCR result overrides the LFT result and they can return to the setting as long as they aren’t displaying any of the Covid symptoms.
Reporting, testing and tracing
Everyone is eligible for a COVID-19 test, should they display coronavirus symptoms.
Anyone who decides not to take part in the national test, track and trace procedures will unfortunately not be able to attend the setting, as without testing of symptomatic staff or children we are unable to safeguard everyone from Coronavirus in the best way possible.
Positive tests will be reported to Ofsted by the Nursery Manager.
We have a Covid-19 Contingency Plan in place which if evoked the Nursery Manager will be in correspondence with the National Institute for Health Protection. The extra actions of the contingency plan will be considered if:
- 5 children/employees test positive within a 10-day period if they have mixed closely.
- 10% of children/employees test positive within a 10-day period if they have mixed closely.
The Nursery Manager is responsible for contacting the Department of Education/National Institute for Health Protection if a symptomatic person is admitted to hospital or we reach the Contingency Plan considerations.
If there is reasonable evidence that a positive diagnosis was caused by exposure at work, this will be reported to RIDDOR.
If someone in your household is contacted by track and trace and told they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive you must follow the instructions given and inform the nursery.
The Government’s tracing app is a way of helping to protect everyone.