This document has been created to help the families of First Steps Childcare to return to the nursery First Steps Childcare has been and will endeavour to follow government guidelines to stop the spread of COVID 19.
Only children and staff who are not displaying symptoms of COVID 19 can attend First Steps Childcare. The symptoms are a high temperature and/or new persistent cough. Please check the NHS website for more assistance.
We will be using the following guidelines to plan and implement safe practices for everyone who uses our service:
‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings.
Latest guidelines were published on 27th July 2020 and can be found on the gov.uk website. At First steps we have added some additional strategies and revised the existing ones. We hope this document supports and reassures with some of the questions and concerns you may continue to have.
Our main principles will be:
· Not allowing anyone with symptoms to enter the setting [for this we are heavily reliant on you, our parents, please continue to be vigilant you know your child best and if you suspect they have any of the symptoms of Covid 19 please arrange a test and keep them at home.
· Increase cleaning and promote hygiene
· Provide adequate PPE for our team
· Social distancing strategies where possible
· Parents to wear face coverings when dropping off or collecting children., from the 1st September 2020.
What will we be doing to keep your child safe?
I think you will agree that social distancing continues to be quite impossible for us to promise and implement with young children. From 20th July, guidance states that early years settings are no longer required to keep children in small, consistent groups within the setting but can return to normal group sizes. We are however asking that from the time we use the new building as the entrance will be narrower, parent/carers to are to wear a face covering when dropping off or collecting children from the setting. We will try as far as we can to keep children with the same practitioner/s throughout the day and in the same environment.
The staff will be implementing social distancing as much as practically possible.
Cleaning and hygiene
· We will ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, we will provide hand sanitiser in all learning environments.
· We will clean surfaces that children and practitioners are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal. We will carry out schedule cleans throughout the day.
· Our cleaner has returned from furlough to help with the clean at the end of every day.
We will ensure that all practitioners and children:
· frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
· clean their hands-on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
· are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes, and nose
· use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
· We will ensure that help is available for children who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
· We will consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs, and repetition
· We will as much as possible empty bins for tissues throughout the day
· Where possible, all spaces will be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units
· We will prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding procedures), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation
· There is no need for anything other than normal personal hygiene and washing of clothes following a day in a childcare setting
· All equipment being used to support children’s sleep will be cleaned when needed and at the end of every day. We will continue to allocate children with their own bedding to avoid cross contamination.
· All catering and cleanliness procedures will be adhered to. Any babies requiring milk feeds the practitioner will use disposable gloves and aprons. Any practitioner supporting mealtimes will use disposable aprons.
· Aprons and gloves will be worn for care needs as per normal practice.
General information about entry/exit:
· If your child is upset on arrival, the practitioner will assist parents in taking the child. We are unable to allow adults into the setting to settle children.
· We continue to ask that only a member of the child’s extended family/or member of their bubble can drop off/pick up until government guidelines change.
· We would strongly encourage that you maintain social distancing and strongly discourage groups forming to talk, and to wear a face covering.
· All children will have to wash their hands-on entrance into the setting. Children/adults are encouraged to use the hand sanitiser available on entry to the setting.
· Any bags that must be brought into the setting should be in a wipeable bag, that can be wiped down with an antibacterial wipe
Coronavirus declaration form
Before your child returns to First Steps, we will require you to complete the below health declaration form, these will be sent to you via email. These must be signed and retuned by email before your child returns/starts to First Steps. It is imperative to inform us immediately if the health of anyone in your household changes.
· Parents/carers of preschool will be expected to stay at the Childcare gate and try to maintain social distancing. Nursery parents will be asked to use the buzzer to the black gate and hand their children over to the nursery practitioner at the door to upstairs once they have been admitted through the gate.
· Buggies, bikes, car seats must not be left at the setting
· Any delivery drivers such as Asda not to enter the building
· Any visitors/ new students to enter the setting by appointment only-ideally out of hours when the building is unoccupied.
· Any non-essential workers will not be permitted into the setting
· If government guidelines change regarding educational settings opening, then we will not expect payment for the period we are closed, excluding those mentioned in the terms and conditions.
· Original bookings placed before the nursery closure, will resume from the 1st September 2020. Unless 4 weeks’ notice (by 1st August) period has been given to First Steps Childcare via email.
· Invoices will be generated a week before the 1st of every month. All payments will be expected on the 1st of every month
· If you decide a start date and then change your mind about returning, you will be charged 4 weeks’ notice period, as per our terms and conditions.
· As from the 7th September we will be offering early sessions [8.00a.m- 8.30 a.m. and late sessions from 5.30-6.00]
If your child is starting with us in the next few months, we will commit to the two 2-hour free taster sessions. However, they will be carried out differently to our normal practice. We will be sending all settling in documents that we use to carry out on our usual taster sessions by email, prior to your visits. If at any time you wish to come into the setting this can be arranged although it will have to be before the morning session i.e. 8.00 a.m. or after 5.30 p.m Just like current children, we regrettably will not allow you into the setting to settle your child. All Covid 19 declaration forms must be returned prior to any settling in sessions.
If your child becomes unwell at home, we require you to notify us, and to notify us when you intend to return. We will not be taking temperatures on arrival to the setting. Temperatures will only be checked if we suspect the child to have one.
If a child presents symptoms of COVID 19 while attending the setting, you will be contacted to collect your child; you will be given an information sheet stating the reasons you being called and additional information i.e. the child’s temperature if it was taken here. It is essential that we always have an up to date contact number that you can be contacted on immediately, if you cannot be contacted so that you can collect your child within 20 mins it may be necessary for us to isolate your child with a member of the team ideally their key person wearing full PPE. If this is not possible your child will be taken to a corner of the room away from the other children, with one member of the team. Your child will be handed to you at the main entrance. The area and equipment that they child has been playing in will be cleaned using recommended cleaning products.
If you are asked to have your child tested, by the setting because of any symptoms you must send us the conformation e mail /text from the NHS Corvid notification identifying if the test was negative or positive, before their return.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in our setting?
When a child, or staff member has a confirmed positive case of coronavirus, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days.
All staff who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. You can do this by going online and requesting a home testing kit or by calling 0300 3032713. The closest testing centre to the setting is at Paulton Football club. Test are often available within 2-4 hours and the results back within 24 -48 hours.
Where the child or staff member tests negative, and the child is fit and well, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their group within the childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider group do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
Supporting children back into the setting
When you have confirmed your return date, following lock down we will be sending you a document to complete. We would recommend completing this with your child if they are able to. The document is called ‘All about me since lockdown…’, it will support practitioners in planning the provision and supporting your child’s learning and development. We will also be uploading a video of the room your child will be attending to your tapestry account. You can expect this in the week prior to returning.
Other ways you could support the transition back to nursery could be: walking to the nursery to visit from outside on your daily walk, looking back at old activities on your child’s tapestry or having a look at our website at the team.
We understand that this is a worrying time for everyone and completely understand the concerns you may have. We hope this information sheet helps you to have a more informed decision on when/if you wish to return. We will endeavour to adapt and inform you of any procedures that may change in the coming months. We look forward to welcoming you back.