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Covid - 19

This policy overrides any other of SHP preschool’s policies that any of the information below relates to.  Any decisions to be made in relation to differences within the content of this policy and another, will be made at the discretion of the Pre-school Manager.  

Our aim is to minimise the risk of the transmission of Covid-19 into South Hill Park Pre-school.  In order to keep our children, staff and families as safe as we possibly can, we are currently working with guidance set out by the Government, Department of Education and Public Health England.  A full risk assessment has been carried out and as a result, we have made changes to our usual routines, procedures, grouping, resources, learning environment, staffing and hours.  

The children and staff’s well-being are of our utmost priority.  However, it is recognised that full social distancing in Pre-school amongst young children is impossible.  The following steps are being taken to minimise the risks of spread of the virus to an acceptable level. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee full protection from it.

Group sizes and grouping

To reduce contact between groups of children and staff, they will mix in small consistent groups.  Until further notice, we will have a maximum of 16 children at Pre-school at any one time.  Within each session we will arrange the children into smaller groups of no more than 8.  This will be reviewed in line with government guidance. Whilst we will try to arrange children to be in small groups with their friends and their key person, this will not always be possible.  Siblings will be placed in the same group.  

The 16 places for each bubble are offered out in the following order: first to key workers and vulnerable children, then school leavers, followed by the younger children. This may mean some children will not be able to return to preschool yet. 

We will limit the amount of mixing between groups as much as possible. So, each smaller group of 8 (or less) will be encouraged to participate in activities and play in different areas from the other group. 



Sessions

Unfortunately, for now children will not be able to attend their usual sessions. With the above grouping in mind, we can only offer each child two full days per week.  Children will be allocated a place in one of 2 bubbles; Bubble 1 Monday and Tuesday or Bubble 2 Thursday and Friday. The children will remain in these bubbles until further notice. 

Parents/carers who have told us that their children will not be attending Pre-school, will need to request sessions in writing should their circumstances change.  In this situation we will need to review the staffing and availability within the bubbles. Please note it may not be possible to offer a space straight away.  

Staffing

Staff will also be allocated to a bubble group and will remain with that group, as far as possible. Unfortunately, in some cases it might mean that children will not be with their key person.  Within each session, we aim that the same staff will supervise and be responsible for the smaller groups of children. Where staff are unwell or absent for other reasons it may be necessary to change the member of staff with each group. 

If staff become unavailable e.g. because they or someone in their household is isolating, and where it affects our staff to child ratios, it may be necessary for us to close the Pre-school.  Where it is possible to manage by further reducing the number of children attending at any one time, we may ask some parents to keep their child at home.  We will try to do this as fairly as we can, first asking for volunteers and families who do not need childcare at the time.  

Drop off and collection

To minimise potential contact between families and to avoid larger numbers of people being present at the Pre-school at any one time, drop off and collection times will be staggered. Children will be given allocated times to arrive and be picked up. Only one parent/adult is permitted to drop off or collect their child.  Where possible siblings should not come to drop off or pick up. 

Parents/carers will not be able to enter the Preschool building, unless previously agreed by the Pre-school Manager. 

Children will be dropped/collected at the back door, where a member of staff will greet them/hand over to the parent. Parents will be notified of any changes to the drop off or collect point. 

If a child is extremely upset, the parent and child will be invited around to come into the coat peg area, where staff will attempt to help settle the child.  If a child does not settle, we will discuss with the parent what is the next best step. 

Social distancing markers are in place and parents/carers must adhere to the social distancing procedures within the Pre-school grounds and boundaries. This includes waiting 2m apart whilst waiting to drop off or collect children and arriving on time for allocated drop off/ pick up times. 

Staff and parents should also follow the social distancing and travel guidelines outlined by the government, outside of Pre-school opening times. If we become aware of anyone not adhering to the appropriate guidelines, we may ask their child to self isolate for the appropriate time. 

Parents who are late for their drop off or pick up time, MUST call the Preschool Manager before coming up to the preschool gate.  They will be given appropriate instructions, depending on the time.   

Children who attend more than one provider/child carer

Children can only attend one childcare provider (this includes childminders and family members outside of the household). For children who attend more than one provider, parents must choose between their two providers, in order to prevent increased risk of transmission.  Children will not be able to attend both providers. 

Food and drinks

Children must bring their lunch in a hard-cased lunch box or container.  This will be wiped down when they arrive. Children will eat their snacks and lunch in their smaller groups.  

Fresh water will be available for the children at all times in the setting.  There will be a water station using preschool cups, for each group. To avoid the risk of cross contamination, the children will ask their adult for a drink when they are thirsty.  We will continue to provide a drink at snack and lunch times, so children are not currently required to bring in water bottles. Any uneaten food and packaging will be sent home in the children’s lunch box, for it to be safely disposed of.

Nappy changing, Toileting and Personal Hygiene

Where possible, children will be encouraged to use the bathroom one at a time and the sink and toilet wiped down by staff after use.  We recognise that there will be times when a child cannot wait, so in order to try and ensure they maintain a safe distance whilst using the bathroom, we have closed off the middle toilet and sink for the time being.   

Children will be asked to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. This includes when they arrive at Pre-school, before and after eating, when coming in from the garden, after coughing or sneezing or touching their face and after going to the toilet.  We will encourage them to sing Happy Birthday twice to remember how long they should wash their hands for.  It would be helpful if parents can do this at home too.  Hand sanitisers are also available around the setting to use at times when it is not easy or possible to go and wash hands. 

If a child needs their nappy changed or they have had a toileting accident, a member of staff will take them to the bathroom to change them.  PPE is available and will be worn by the member of staff. We will continue to encourage children to be independent and to manage their own personal care where possible and appropriate e.g. undressing and dressing. 

Tissues are available at all times and we will continue to promote ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’.  Lidded bins are located in the setting for each group to dispose of their tissues easily and safely.  The bins will be emptied regularly.  

Accidents and First Aid 

If a child has an accident at Pre-school, a member of staff will provide any necessary first aid away from the other childrenThe member of staff will be required to wear PPE.  

We will continue to record each accident on an accident form.  A copy of the form will be emailed to the parent and they will be asked to confirm they have read and accept it, by return email.       

Medication

We continue to ask parents to administer medication at home where possible. We will not administer children’s paracetamol and ibuprofen at Preschool.  If a child requires paracetamol and ibuprofen medication then they must be kept at home. 

If a child is upset

Although staff are required to minimise physical contact with the children where possible, appropriate comfort and care will be provided if a child is upset whilst at preschool. 

We recognise that returning to preschool after a number of weeks off, may be difficult for some children and they may be unsettled.  Staff have considered and have made plans for resettling and looking after the children’s well being.   

Sun protection

On sunny or predicted to be sunny days, we asked parents to apply sun cream at home before bringing their child into preschool, using an all-day protection cream.  Where this is not possible e.g. they need to use a specific cream due to an allergy, the child will be encouraged to apply their own cream if they are able to.  Where help is required, adults will apply the cream wearing disposable gloves.  

Parents must provide their child with a sun hat that can be left at preschool. This will be kept in their drawer until needed. 

Clothing

Children should continue wearing comfortable clothes to preschool, that they can manage for themselves. We advise that the clothes they wear to preschool are put straight into the wash when they get home.  We ask that children wear a clean set of clothes each of the days they are in preschool.  A spare set of clothes can be sent in and kept at preschool until needed. 

Cleaning

We are increasing our already stringent cleaning procedures, throughout the day and in between sessions.  With regularly used contact surfaces, such as toys, books, doors, handles, sinks, toilets, light switches, being cleaned more than usual throughout the day.  We will also be maintaining and increasing our stringent cleaning processes for food preparation areas, dining areas and table coverings, in line with food safety standards. 

Any essential items that are brought from home will be cleaned on arrival.  

Any items that require laundering e.g. tea towels will be washed in line with guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

As well as the cleaning during the day, a deeper clean of the setting, equipment and resources will be carried out each evening and in between each Bubble group. 

Toys and resources

All unnecessary items and items and toys that are hard to clean have been removed from the learning environment. For example, soft toys, cushions and rugs. The resources and materials on offer to the children have been selected as they are easier to clean between use by different groups. 

Staff groups will have certain resources and materials available for their own group and these will not be shared between groups.  Children are not permitted to bring in any toys, blankets, soft toys from home.  Bags containing a spare change of clothes are permitted and should remain at Pre-school for the week.   

Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs and Disability, child well-being and welfare requirements

We will be liaising with the parents and any professional involved with children who fall into these categories, in order to arrange the best possible support plan for them during these times.  

In the event that a child or member of staff becomes unwell 

Staff or children, showing symptoms of Covid-19 MUST stay at home and follow the government guidelines on ‘What to do if someone in your household develops symptoms’. They are not permitted to attend Pre-school until the appropriate isolation period is complete or they have been tested negative.  


If children or a member of staff starts showing symptoms whilst at Pre-school, they will be sent home immediately and asked to follow the government and PHE guidelines on ‘What to do if someone in your household develops symptoms’. Parents MUST be able to collect their child immediately in these circumstances.  

Whilst a child is waiting to be collected, they will be moved to the quiet room away from the other children and cared for by a member of staff. The staff member caring for the child will be permitted to give close care to them, however, they will be required to wear a mask, apron and gloves and in some cases eye protection. 

If the child needs to use the bathroom whilst waiting to be collected they will be taken to the adult toilet.  The adult toilet will then be cleaned thoroughly after use. 

Once a child or staff member has left the setting, we will follow the guidelines ‘cleaning of non-healthcare settings.’ 

Maintaining confidentiality and not disclosing the identity of the individual, we will notify the parents of the group that a child or member of staff has displayed symptoms within the setting.   We may ask all the children in the same group to self isolate for 14 days. 

The guidance says, staff and children who are attending a childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus.  We will ask anyone displaying symptoms to go and get a test.  

Where a child or member of staff tests negative, they and their household can end isolation and they can return to Pre-school. However, if they test positive, the rest of their group, will be sent home and must self-isolate for 14 days. 

Personal Protective Equipment

All staff have had training in using PPE 

A PPE kit is available to staff if a child becomes unwell whilst at Pre-school and needs close personal care. PPE will be disposed of in line with government guidance if a child or member of staff becomes unwell. 

Masks will not be routinely worn in Pre-school by staff and are not advisable for young children who are more likely to keep touching the mask rendering them ineffective and possibly more likely to spread infection. 

However, staff may wear masks when necessary along with gloves and a disposable apron, e.g. when providing close personal care to a child e.g. when changing nappies, if a child is unwell and when giving first aid.  

Fire drill

We have amended our fire drill procedure to reduce the risk of contact with members of the public or high contact equipment. 


Contractors, suppliers and visitors

Where possible any necessary maintenance and work requiring contractors to visit the site will be arranged for out of hours and social distancing measures will be adhered to by both parties. Stock checks will be carried out and where possible materials and supplies will be sourced from the same supplier to minimize the number of delivered to the setting.

All visitors to the setting are currently only on an essential need basis only.   

Activities and learning

Although we will have to reduce our toys and resources, where possible we will try to continue offering the children a wide variety of activities and learning opportunities that reflect their development and interests. Children will still be able to self-select resources and toys and choose activities they want to do.  There will also be adult led activities carried out with the children such as music and movement and group games. Activities such as messy play will still be on offer, however, children will have their own individual bowl/tray to use rather than sharing a large table or area. We will be following the EYFS as closely as possible. 

Fees and funding

Children who return to Pre-school will be charged fees for any hours they attend that is in excess of their funding entitlement. 

Unused funded hours are non-refundable. 

Children who we are unable to offer a place to on re-opening, will not be billed fees at this time.  

We will continue to review the financial situation of the preschool and will notify parents of any changes that will be necessary regarding fees and funding.  



Complaints

Any complaints related to Covid19 and the preschool should be made in line with our usual complaints policy. 


This Covid 19 policy is a working document and will be reviewed in line with changing government advice.  Please note that we will be reviewing the safety and procedures included in this policy on a weekly basis and reserve the right to make any necessary changes for the sake of our children and staff. 

If for any reason we need to close the Pre-school again, parents will be notified as soon as possible via email.  Notifications will also be posted on our parents Facebook page. 


Parents and staff must read and agree to adhere to the content of this document. 

By bringing their child into preschool parents are agreeing to the above. 

Anyone who is unwilling to agree to this document, cannot bring their child to Pre-school.  Anyone who continues to disobey any of the content of this document, after an initial reminder, will be asked not to attend the setting, and may compromise their child’s place.



 



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