COVID-19 Temporary Operational Policy
Last Updated 23.03.2021
The information below is a summary of our Temporary Operational Policy: In addition to the above we have been guided by the Department for Education, Local Authorities, OFSTED and other research.
Our guiding principles throughout this pandemic are:
- Safety of children and staff as well as wider families
- Children’s emotional well-being
- Supporting our families through any anxiety and worry they have experienced
- Continue to communicate at all stages of returning to a new normal regarding children’s learning experiences
- Business as usual as far as possible and following Government guidelines
It is recognised that children of nursery age are not able to effectively social distance and staff cannot practically implement social distancing with the children. Therefore the measures below have been put into place in accordance with Government and DfE guidance.
Basic Principles to keep children safe:
- Bubbles are in place in order to keep groups of children together. Children and staff do not cross over with other bubbles in any area, inside or outside, including toilets.
- Temperature Checks will now be taken for all children and staff upon arrival at the setting at the door. If it is 38 C or above then that person will need to self-isolate immediately and book in for a COVID-19 PCR test.
- Anybody with COVID-19 symptoms must not attend at the setting for any reason.
- Where children display a temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste and / or smell they will not be admitted for 10 days unless they have been tested, in which case they can return only after a negative test result. The test result must be provided to the setting. In the cases of raised temperature, the child can return 48 hours after their temperature ends. In cases of sickness or diarrhoea our 48 hour exclusion policy will still be implemented.
- The nursery, including fixed (e.g. outdoor) play equipment is subject to an increased regime of cleaning and disinfecting – Please see ‘Additional Cleaning Processes’ below
- All soft furnishings (mats, cushions, soft toys, etc) have been removed; books and other resources will be restricted as per government guidance.
- Sensory play experiences, such as sand and messy play are permitted in small groups and in line with the current risk assessment. Water play and cooking activities are still not permitted.
- Items from home brought into the setting are limited, a washable bag should be provided for spare clothes; we ask parents to bring these in freshly washed on a daily basis.
- Daily handovers will be given through Parentzone, with a brief handover upon collection. All communications will be sent via email.
- Facemasks/visors will be worn by staff who are meeting and greeting families at drop off and collection. All families dropping off and collecting children will also be required to wear a face covering which they should ensure they have and provide themselves – this is not required for children coming into the nursery.
- All visitors to the nursery, including Head Office staff and external contractors must wear a face mask when in the settings.
- Staff to wear disposable gloves and aprons, hairnets at meal times within the nursery. Each setting will have a supply of full PPE, consisting of aprons, gloves, face masks and a face shield for use should a child start to display symptoms of COVID-19 whilst in the setting.
- Disposable gloves and aprons are worn by all staff whilst changing children’s nappies, bottle feeding and cleaning bodily fluids.
- Staff do not wear masks internally whilst in their bubbles; as it is considered detrimental to little children and communication.
- Physical distancing where possible is practiced
Lateral Flow Testing (LFT)
Up until now early years staff have been accessing testing through local community testing programmes. But now, by providing the majority of early year’s staff with home testing kits, we will be able to better meet the needs of our early year’s workforce and identify positive cases more quickly to break the chains of
Nursery staff will be supplied with lateral flow device (LFD) test kits to self-swab twice a week, with test results provided in 30 minutes. Testing will help to identify positive cases, particularly those who may have the virus and do not have symptoms.
Additional cleaning and hygiene processes
Staff teams are responsible for regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by children and adults. These include high-risk contact areas such as door handles and doors,, phones, keyboards, light switches, taps, toilet flushes, sinks, countertops, handrails and bannisters, shared PCs & iPads. These areas are cleaned at least every two hours, whilst all resources and units within the bubbles are cleaned at least once a day.
Children will be supported to ensure they wash their hands properly. Children use antibacterial gel or wash their hands on entering & leaving the building. They wash their hands at regular intervals during the day, particularly when coming in from outside, before and after eating and using the toilets.
Each area has designated access to toilets. We have provided more toilets and hand washing facilities for outside space. Toilet areas are cleaned frequently throughout the day in accordance with Government guidelines.
We will not be accepting children from another setting unless there is a 48 gap between their last session at the second setting and their attendance at Red Bus. If a 48 hour gap cannot be made parents will have to choose one setting only. We ask parents to let us know the name of their child’s second setting so that we can contact them and discuss their policies and risk assessments in place.
Medication and Vaccinations
- Children will not be accepted to the setting if they have been given Calpol or any other medication that can mask fever symptoms, at parents discretion, after 4am on their day of attendance (after 9am for children with afternoon bookings).
- Staff members will monitor the children in their care and will make reasonable judgements on whether a family is advised to undergo testing. We ask that families do the same and monitor their children’s wellness, making the decision if they need to isolate, undergo testing, or are well enough to attend a nursery setting.
- Children who have asthma or other breathing related difficulties should be known to nursery staff and can attend nursery as usual with their medical plans in place.
- If a child needs a routine medical appointment we are asking parents that wherever possible this is booked on a non-nursery day or at the end of the child’s session. If this is unavoidable the child will be allowed to return to nursery after the appointment, provided they are fit and well in themselves.
Safety on site
- Parents and visitors will not be permitted to enter the building – staff will collect children from the nursery door and will bring them to the collector on arrival at the end of their session.
- Parents are asked to arrive with some kind of face covering to the setting. One parent / carer only should be present when dropping-off and collecting. Parents should follow social distancing when waiting to drop off or collect your child, and not to form clusters at the entrance/walkways etc.
- Any non-essential visits to the nurseries are limited, if required visitors will be screened beforehand. Included in our essential list will be those required to attend to keep our nursery running effectively or parents of settling children.
- ‘Settling In’ sessions will be restricted to a single adult coming to nursery when the child attends for a settle. Parent, child and staff meet in a separate area away from other children and staff.
- Management team to wear a face mask or visor when receiving and returning children – but staff are not required to wear face masks during the day in the areas with children, but have to if they are accessing shared areas.
- Staff will not work between two separate areas without a 48 hour gap between the shifts. This will help to mitigate the transmission of the infection should a member of staff test positive for coronavirus.
- As the Government guidelines for COVID-19 restrict our usual approach to off-site trips and Forest School, we have taken steps to ensure our children get the best possible outside experience we can offer them at the moment.
Drop off and Collection Process
Children are dropped off at the door at the start of their session, where a member of management will take the child to their assigned room.
We are currently operating a collection process whereby parents call a dedicated phoneline in order to collect their child. Parents must be aware of their child’s individual security code and their child will be brought to the front door by a member of management.
This policy has been edited for length – a full version of the Temporary Operational Policy will be sent to you upon registration.