COVID 19 information
COVID 19 information
Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their understanding and cooperation since we had to close [to the majority of children] from 20th March. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, in particular when you have had to juggle work commitments with managing childcare, if you have children with special educational needs or disability, or if you are a single parent.
I am pleased to let you know that, further to the government’s announcement that early years and childcare providers will open from 1 June (subject to scientific advice), we are working hard to take the necessary steps to be ready to welcome back all children. We will open [to more children] only if the government confirms that their five key tests justify taking this step. We are expecting final confirmation on 28th May.
I would like to specifically thank everyone who replied to our survey. We have been able to clarify our children numbers from this and have been able to use the questions and queries to ensure our Operational Plan answers both staff and parent queries.
Many of you have asked if we expect less children to be attend? Each nursery has differing numbers, however across the group we are expecting occupancy to be less than 50% of what it was pre-lockdown. This varies day by day obviously.
Which children can attend from 1st June?
As you may be aware, we have remained open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 20th March and have been operating with smaller group sizes and additional hygiene and infection control measures. We will remain open for them until the wider opening is confirmed.
The government is now encouraging all eligible children to attend and it is no longer necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home if they can.
From the week beginning 1st June, early years and childcare providers will welcome back all children, if the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time. For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. Some categories of children with specific serious health conditions should not attend their early years setting and we believe. If you are unsure whether your child should attend the setting due to a health condition that they or someone they live with has, please contact us so we can discuss the details with you.
Protective measures we are taking in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest government guidance, to develop and implement a number of new ways of operating. This will allow us to open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting.
Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for reopening include:
· Asking that anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who does, not to attend the setting. That includes children and staff who work here.
· It is widely accepted that it is not possible to physical distance from children under the age of 5. We intend caring for your child in the hands-on and loving way that we always have. Your child will be supported and comforted in our nursery as always. However, we will be keeping our children in small groups or ‘bubbles’ (max 16 children in any one group, as per Government Guidance) with as much consistent staffing as possible, and minimising contact with other groups around the setting. (In most groups and on most days, we are not expecting to have this number, certainly during June.) Ratios of staff to children has not been changed (except for in exceptional circumstances) and we have planned to fully conform to these numbers (1:3 for 0-2 yrs, 1:4 for 2-3 yrs, 1:8 for 3-5 yrs)
· Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
· Ensuring our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout the setting.
· Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including table tops, door handles and play equipment.
· Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household. (We will be uploading child handover information onto Tapestry each day for children)
· Asking parents and carers to ensure they are strictly following all Government Advice regarding social distancing away from nursery, e.g. households are not yet allowed to mix with other households.
· Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to the setting, unless this is essential to their health and well-being.
· Asking parents to ensure their child only attends one childcare setting, to reduce the amount of child to child weekly interactions.
· With parent’s permission, where appropriate, we have joined siblings into one group.
· We have published a clear and detailed Operational Plan (which includes use of PPE, and our procedure for if a child become symptomatic of COVID-19 whilst in our care) so that all staff understand the requirements on them both inside and outside of work.
· Completed a detailed Risk Assessment which is published on our website.
What can parents and carers do to help?
There are a number of things parents and carers can do to help us make these arrangements effective, in addition to the points listed above concerning arrival and departure and not bringing toys to the setting.
1. MOST IMPORTANTLY – please do not bring you, child, to the nursery if they or anyone in your household has symptoms of Coronavirus.
We consider the symptoms to be those published on the NHS website. No other symptoms count e.g. sore throats. runny noses.
As of 20th May these are : –
· a high temperature (37.8°C or higher)– this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
· a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
· loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal