COVID-19 Policy & Procedure
From 23rd March to 29th May, Little Holland Nursery has only been open for children of key workers and vulnerable children. In order to open to all children on 1st June, we are putting in place the following policy and procedure. This document is likely to evolve based on feedback from staff, parents and children, as well as new guidance from the government. The core guidance from the government on “implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings” can be found here.
We do not currently know how long these measures will be in place. We will update parents as the situation develops in the coming months. Updated: 18th May 2020.
- From 1st June we are planning, subject to final government approval, to accept all children at nursery.
- Only children who are symptom free or have completed the required isolation period should attend the setting.
- Any child with a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of smell or taste must not attend for 7 days or until they test negative for COVID-19.
- For any child living in a household where another person has a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of smell or taste, the child must not attend nursery for at least 14 days or until they test negative for COVID-19.
- Staff reserve the right to take children’s temperature on arrival at nursery and will not admit any child with a high temperature. We will usually take a temperature if a child or accompanying parent/carer appears unwell.
Grouping & Physical Distancing
- Children will be organised into small groups or rooms called “Bubbles”. Each Bubble will consist of no more than 8 children per day, although over the course of a week it may consist of up to 16 children because of different children attending on different days.
- Pee Wees and Teeny Weenies will each be a Bubble. When numbers for the entire week are low enough, Pee Wees and Teeny Weenies may be combined into one Bubble.
- Pre School will be divided into 2 or 3 Bubbles depending on the level of attendance.
- Unlike normal, the Pee Wees and Pre School will not be combined at the beginning or end of the day, unless the group sizes are small enough for a whole week to combine them into one Bubble.
- Each Bubble will be allocated a separate indoor space for the entire day. They will not have access to other indoor spaces, except where absolutely necessary (e.g. to access the exits or the garden). Daily cleaning will allow the Pre School Bubbles to swap indoor spaces from day to day.
- The separate spaces to be used are: Teeny Weenies Room, Pee Wees Room, Focus Room & Dining Room excluding the Focus Room toilet, Conservatory including Focus Room toilet, Garden Classroom.
- Provision of meals, nappy changing and toiletting will take place within the space allocated to each Bubble, except in emergencies in which case appropriate cleaning will be conducted before and after use.
- The garden will be used by different Bubbles at different times of the day, with toys being cleaned between Bubbles.
- Distancing of beds for sleeping children will be facilitated as much as possible.
Wellbeing & Education
- Children will be supported in age appropriate ways to understand the steps they need to take to keep themselves safe including regular handwashing and sneezing into a tissue and throwing it away.
- Children will be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may encounter as a result of COVID-19 and staff will be aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at the moment.
- Only staff who are symptom free or have completed the required isolation period should attend the setting.
- Any staff member with a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of smell or taste must not attend for 7 days or until they test negative for COVID-19.
- For any staff member living in a household where another person has a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of smell or taste, the staff member must not attend nursery for at least 14 days or until they test negative for COVID-19.
- Staff will be risk assessed if returning to work after a period of isolation or having had COVID-19.
- Staff in the nursery will be limited to the number which is needed for the number of children expected.
Grouping & Physical Distancing
- Wherever possible staff will be with the same Bubble they are allocated to and not come into contact with other groups for at least each whole week.
- Cover staff for lunch breaks and comfort breaks must try to maintain social distancing and work at a distance from the children, if at all possible. There are limits to this with younger children, but breaks will be timed when children are less likely to need close contact with staff.
- Social distancing must be maintained by staff during breaks. This will be managed by staggering lunch breaks.
- Staff members will avoid all close contact with each other.
- All staff members will receive appropriate instruction and training in infection control and the relevant operating procedure and risk assessments.
Parents & Carers
Physical Distancing & Drop Off/Collection
- Only parents/carers who are symptom free and/or have completed the required isolation periods will be able to drop off and collect their child.
- Only one parent/carer is permitted to drop off or collect their child.
- Pre School children must enter via the cloakroom and Pee Wees and Teeny Weenies must enter via the front door.
- Only one child and parent/carer can enter the cloakroom at a time.
- Parents/carers of children entering via the cloakroom are requested to take off their child’s coat, jacket and shoes.
- Parents must stay 2 metres away from staff.
- Tape, chalk or paint will be used to mark safe queuing distances at the entrance to the nursery.
- Parents will not be able to enter the nursery except for very limited reasons, such as settling a child who may become distressed, or during the settling in sessions of a new child. Parents must not come into close contact with other children or staff.
- As our nursery is small, we have multiple start/end times and we will be using two entrances, we are not initially requesting any additional staggering of start/end times. This will be reviewed if queuing become an issue.
- Parents will receive clear communications regarding the role they play in the safe operating procedure and all measures being taken to ensure the safety of their children and themselves.
- Parents should use Famly to give messages to staff about their child and to ask any questions. This allows staff to respond at an appropriate time, and will also reduce queues as only one child can enter or leave the nursery at a time.
- Visitors must wash their hands when entering the nursery unless they are wearing a fresh pair of gloves.
- All surfaces touched or objects handle by visitors must be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down upon their departure.
- All visitors to remain strictly 2 metres away from staff.
- Parents, staff, children or visitors must not enter the nursery if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Deliveries, including ASDA shopping and Amazon parcels, must be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down when bought into the nursery. The surfaces where they were placed during this disinfectant stage must then be sprayed and wiped down.
- Wherever possible staff and parents should travel to the nursery alone, using their own transport
- If public transport is necessary, current government guidance on the safe use of public transport must be followed.
- Parents may not leave travel accessories such as car seats, buggies, scooters in the nursery cloakroom.
- Children will not be taken out of the nursery on outings at this time.
Hygiene, Health & Safety
Hand Washing & Personal Hygiene
- All children and staff must wash their hands on arrival at the nursery and before they leave to go home.
Children will be encouraged to wash their hands more frequently during the day, such as after wiping their nose, before and after eating, when coming in from the garden, before touching their faces.
- Staff will be encouraged to wash their hands more frequently, such as before preparing and serving food, after wiping children’s noses, after cuddling children, after supporting toileting or nappy changing, before eating, before touching their faces, and before leaving the nursery.
- All frequently used surfaces (tables, counter tops, toilets, sinks) will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily.
- Floors will be steam cleaned or disinfected daily, door handles and light switches must be disinfected at least daily.
- Telephones and tablets must be disinfected at least daily.
- Procedures for cleaning resources are explained in the sections below.
- Any bins that children have access to will be emptied three times daily.
- All waste will continue to be disposed of in a safe and hygienic way.
- Bedding and flannels will continue to be washed between use by different children and will not be shared.
- Current Government guidance is that PPE should not be required in general practice in nurseries to protect against COVID-19 transmission. PPE, such as aprons and gloves, will continue to be worn as usual for nappy changing and the administration of first aid.
- PPE consisting of disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask will be worn for supervising a child with COVID-19 symptoms and for cleaning the area they were isolated in, as specified below. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.
Premises & Resources
- Windows will be kept open when possible to ensure good ventilation.
- The Pre-School Role Play room will have all items removed, as it will be considered a shared access route to two different Pre-School Bubbles.
- Children are not permitted to bring items from home into the setting, including toys and lunch boxes, unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing. When this is the case items must be cleaned on arrival.
- Any toys or other resources accessed by children will be cleaned and disinfected prior to being put away by the end of the day.
- To manage cleaning of resources, some difficult to clean items may be removed from the rooms. Free access to some resources may be limited, so that staff can control when children use resources and they need to be cleaned.
- Equipment used by staff, such as tablets and stationery will be allocated to individual staff members where possible and cleaned at least daily.
- The setting will ensure an adequate supply of essential stock, such as gloves, aprons and disinfectant materials as the nursery will not be able to operate without essential supplies to ensure infection control.
Responding to a Suspected Case
- If anyone becomes ill with a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of smell or taste in the nursery they must be sent home and advised to follow the “COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection”.
- If a child is waiting to go home, they should be isolated in the Teeny Weenies room with the gate closed with appropriate adult supervision. If it is not possible to isolate them, the child should be moved at least 2 meters away from others.
- Staff will call 999 if they become seriously ill or their life is at risk.
- The staff member responsible for the child during this time should if possible be someone from their Bubble.
- The staff member caring for the child will wear appropriate PPE. This consists of disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.
- If the child needs to use the bathroom whilst waiting to be collected they should use a separate bathroom. This should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being used by anyone else.
- The member of staff who has cared for the child who was taken unwell does not need to go home unless they develop symptoms. The staff member should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds.
- The area where the child was isolated should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by the same staff member, while still wearing the PPE.