Covid-19 Policy

1       Introduction

It is important that everyone complies with the latest Government guidance on Coronavirus.

We have developed this policy based on guidance from the Department of Education.

It is important that we adapt our everyday practices to ensure that we continue to offer the staff and children a safe environment. Hygiene and social distancing remain the two key elements 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 but it seems that it is not significant.

Compassionate leadership is at the heart of offering continued nursery care 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 nursery will receive appropriate instruction and training on how to operate under the terms of the Covid-19 policy.

We aim to work in partnership with parents and trust that everyone understands and follows this policy.

The key principles of these procedures are:

  1. Any child, staff member, parent or visitor with coronavirus symptoms must not attend nursery and must isolate at home
  2. Increased cleaning processes are in place, throughout and at the end of the day
  3. Children and staff members will social distance as far as possible
  4. A one way system will be implemented throughout the setting with sanitising stations at both entrance and exit.
  5. Parents will drop children off at the door to their room and will not enter the room.
  6. Parents and staff members will wear masks during drop off and collection at nursery
  7. Staff members who ‘cross bubbles’ or move fluidly around the nursery (i.e. cleaning staff) will wear appropriate PPE at all times.
  8. Staff will take COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests twice a week, giving their results to the nursery manager and on the gov.uk website

 

2        Attendance

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. There is some suggestion that mottled skin or sickness and diarrhoea can also be a symptom.

It is important that you seek medical advice if you are unsure.

If a child develops a temperature whilst at nursery, parents will be contacted and asked to collect them immediately. The child will then need to be off nursery for 48 hours. If no other symptoms occur and the temperature decreases, they are able to return to the nursery. If other symptoms do occur or the temperature doesn’t drop, a covid test will need to be taken and the appropriate procedures followed before the child can return to nursery.

Anyone experiencing any symptoms cannot return to nursery until they have completed the required isolation period, in line with government guidelines, and be symptom free or have achieved a negative test result (we politely request evidence of this to be sent to the nursery). Prompt exclusion is essential to preventing the spread of infection. Children and employees who are classed as clinically vulnerable should follow their own medical advice before attending nursery.

2.1       Drop off and collection of children

Parents are asked to ensure they use the hand sanitiser at the entrance before using the fingerprint entry system. Parents are also encouraged to use the hand sanitiser stationed at the exit before leaving the building.

Parents are asked to follow the one way system throughout the day nursery in Levenshulme and drop off and collect their children at the doors to their base rooms and not enter the rooms. Whilst parents are waiting, it is important to maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of two metres apart. We ask during this period that one parent carries out drop off and collection. Parents are requested to wear masks and handovers will continue to be out of the room. Staff will also wear facemasks during handovers with parents.

We will give you a limited handover, unless there is an important issue to discuss, as other parents may be waiting. If you wish to speak with a member of staff or your child’s key worker in more detail please contact the nursery directly.

 

2.2        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 regarding isolation and testing criteria.

New Amigos are very conscious that during the colder, winter months young children will get temperatures to help them to fight cold and flu symptoms. Snotty, red eyed, catarrh filled coughs are not thought to be symptomatic for COVID-19 and may not indicate that a child needs to undergo a coronavirus test. 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. If a child has a dry, continuous cough or a persistent temperature (over 24 hours) accompanied by flu or cold symptoms they will still be asked to book a coronavirus test.

Children who have asthma or other breathing related difficulties will be known to nursery staff and can attend nursery as usual with their medical plans in place.

2.3        Travel outside of local area

If you travel internationally, on your return you are required to take 2 Coronavirus tests after arriving in England, and self-isolate as instructed by the government for 10 days. If you develop symptoms in this time, you are to follow the government guidelines.

 

3        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 be grouped in small groups (a bubble) with a practitioner and this group will work alongside a buddy group to ensure that an adult is always available. Social distancing will also apply to coat pegs, seating arrangements and sleeping.

3.1        Mealtimes

  • As always, children will eat in their rooms.
  • The practitioners will serve the children.
  • No food will be eaten out of shared platters or containers.
  • Drinks will be offered at 30 minute intervals instead of cups being at the children’s level to avoid accidental sharing of cups.

3.2        Employees

All employees will undergo regular induction and training on the new restrictions, with emphasis on good hygiene practices and maintaining social distancing. Staff upstairs will use a different staff room to staff downstairs and face coverings will be worn when moving throughout the setting, i.e., bringing the children down to the garden.

3.3        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 will still be carrying our fire and lockdown drills.

 

4        Visitors

4.1        Settling in sessions/transitions

Parents may enter the nursery for the purpose of settling-in sessions, if not doing so would cause a child distress. Parents will fill out the necessary paperwork in the hallways just outside of the rooms if it is unsafe to do within the room. The Manager will give further guidance on the day. It is important that social distancing continues to be maintained. The parents will not be able to spend time in the children’s rooms in order to minimise any risk of infection.

4.2       Visitors

Visitors to the nursery will not be encouraged unless it involves a safeguarding issue that cannot be resolved by telephone. Interviews or meetings will be conducted via video conference. Parent’s evenings will not go ahead until restrictions are lifted further, but summaries will be given and parents are able to request a more in depth telephone meeting if required at a suitable time.

4.3       Nursery show-rounds

Show arounds are now able to take place with restrictions being lifted somewhat. Only one parent is permitted to attend for the show around and a face mask is to be worn by both the parent and the staff member conducting the show around. Parents are not able to enter the base rooms, but a member of staff from the room will step out, where possible, to discuss their routine and room with the parent.

4.4        Contractors

Any contractors to the nursery will be reminded of National Institute for Health Protection guidance prior to entering the building. Non-essential visitors will not be allowed on site during lockdown and will need to be rearranged.

 

5        Health, Hygiene and Safety

5.1        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.

5.2       Cleaning

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. Sanitiser is to be used by everyone before entering the building and using the fingerprint entry system. There will be regular opportunities for hand washing throughout the day.

5.3       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.

5.4       Toileting

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.

5.5        Risk assessments

The COVID risk assessments will reflect the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Certain activities will be adapted or removed to reflect this risk e.g. going on trips using coaches.

5.6        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.

5.7      Resources at Nursery

Toys and resources that are difficult to clean will not be available for play. Playdough will be made fresh each day and binned at the end of the day. Soft furnishings are permitted within rooms which are sprayed with disinfectant spray daily and washed on a hot hygienic wash twice a week.

 

6       Responding to a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19

6.1        A child

If a child is suspected of displaying coronavirus symptoms whilst attending the nursery, they should be collected as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. The child must be tested before they return.

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.

6.2       An employee who displays symptoms

In the event of an employee developing coronavirus symptoms whilst at work, they will leave work immediately and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. They will be required to have a test before they return.

6.3       PPE Equipment

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. Aprons will be worn at mealtimes.

6.4       Reporting, testing and tracing

Everyone is now eligible for a COVID-19 test, should they display coronavirus symptoms.

Any suspected or confirmed case must be reported to the nursery manager as soon as possible. If a positive result is confirmed, the practitioners and children associated with that group/bubble must self-isolate for 10 days before returning to nursery, regardless of whether they have a negative test result themselves. Positive tests will be reported to the National Institute for Health Protection and Ofsted by the nursery.

New Amigos is also responsible for contacting the National Institute for Health Protection if a case is confirmed or if a symptomatic person is admitted to hospital, a possible case refuses testing, there are a cluster of possible cases/unexpected increase in absenteeism or a suspected case has a definite link to a confirmed case.

If there is reasonable evidence that a positive diagnosis was caused by exposure at work, this will be reported to the National Institute of Health Protection.

If someone in your household, or someone you have close contact with, is contacted by track and trace or is told they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you do not need to be tested. If they test positive, then you will also need to self-isolate for 10 days even if you do not test positive yourself. You should only book a test yourself if you develop symptoms.

The Government’s tracing app is a way of helping to protect everyone.