Covid-19 Policies & Procedures: Tier 4 (Updated January 2021)

These guidelines are intended to assist Seasides Day Nursery in implementing precautionary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our setting.  These guidelines are based on Public Health England and the Department for Education (DfE) guidance for educational settings.  The important need of these procedures are to ensure physical distancing between groups and to implement good health and hygiene practices.

Our COVID-19 policies and procedures are as follows. 

1. Children

Attendance

  • Only children who are symptom free or have completed the required isolation period can attend the setting.  No child with a cough, runny nose, sore throat, any other signs of a cold, infection of any kind or sickness and diarrhoea will be permitted.
  • We will continue taking temperatures of children on arrival and will also be asking parents/carers to monitor their children’s temperature and complete health questionnaires if necessary.  All parents will be required to complete this questionnaire when requested.
  • Any child who develops any signs of any illness throughout the day must be collected as soon as possible.  No calpol will be administered at any time during this period.
  • Parents/carers must ensure they are contactable as much as possible in the case of emergencies and that the information we have on file is correct and up to date.
  • Staggered ‘bubble’ drop-offs and pick up times still apply and parents/carers must stick to these times exactly.

Physical distancing/grouping

  • Children will continue to be organised into small groups/bubbles and these groups/bubbles will not mix during the day.
  • All care routines including provision of meals, nappy changing and toileting will be within the spaces allocated to each bubble wherever possible.
  • The use of communal internal spaces will be restricted as much as possible.
  • Our outdoor area will be structured and set and used by different bubbles at different times of the day.
  • A distance of 2 metres between the beds/cots will be facilitated with the designated sleep rooms/areas.

Wellbeing and education

  • Children will be supported in age appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular hand washing and sneezing into a tissue.
  • Children will be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of Covid-19.
  • Key workers will also ensure they are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time.

2. Staff

All staff must adhere to all Government guidelines relating to tiers and restrictions e.g. in relation to households mixing etc.

Attendance

  • Staff must only attend the nursery if they are symptom free, have completed the required isolation period or achieved a negative test result.
  • We will be taking temperatures of staff on arrival and will risk assess with a regular health questionnaire for returning staff.  All staff will be required to complete this questionnaire before they return to nursery.
  • Consideration will be given to limiting the number of staff at any one time to only those required to care for the expected occupancy levels on any given day.

Physical distancing/grouping

  • Where possible staff will remain with their bubble of children who they are allocated to and will not come into contact with other groups.
  • Social distancing will be maintained during breaks.  This will be achieved through a range of strategies including the staggering of breaks and subdivision of spaces allocated to team breaks.  Staff will be encouraged to go home for lunch if possible.
  • Staff members will avoid physical contact with each other including handshakes and hugs etc.

Training

All staff members will continue to receive appropriate instruction and training on infection control and the standard operating procedures and risk assessments within which they will be operating.

3. Parents

All parents/carers must adhere to all Government guidelines relating to tiers and restrictions e.g. in relation to households mixing etc.

Physical distancing

  • Only parents who are symptom free and or have completed the required isolation periods will be able to drop off or collect their child.
  • Drop-offs and pick-ups must be limited to 1 parent/carer per family and staggered drop-off and pick-up times are in place.  Siblings/additional family members must be left in the car where possible or remain at home.
  • Parents/carers must continue to drop off and pick up outside the nursery main entrance to avoid anyone entering the setting unnecessarily.  Information on which queue to join can be found on the information sheet attached. 
  • If parents/carers are kept waiting whilst dropping off or collecting their child, physical distancing must be maintained in a safe area.
  • We may consider allowing parents/carers to enter the nursery for the purpose of settling in sessions if not doing so would cause a child distress.  We will first consider measures to minimise the contact between the parent and other children and staff members.  Settling sessions would last no longer than 1 hour and would be held outside as per Government guidelines.

Communications

  • Parents will receive clear communication regarding the role they play in the safe operating procedures and all measures being taken to ensure the safety of their children and themselves.
  • All feedback and handovers will be done verbally between staff and parents/carers as well as email and telephone if necessary.

4. Visitors

Visits

Attendance to the setting will be restricted to children and staff as far as practically possible and visitors will not be permitted to the nursery unless essential (i.e. essential building maintenance). 

5. Travel

Travel associated with our operations

  • Wherever possible staff and parents will travel to the nursery alone, using their own transport.
  • If public transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed.
  • As usual, parents/carers will be asked not to leave travel accessories including buggies, car seats, scooters in the premise.  These can be left by the side gate (not blocking the entrance) at the left hand side front of the building but are done at parents’ own risk.
  • Outings to the local community are currently on hold.

6. Hygiene and Health & Safety

Hand washing

  • All children and staff must continue to wash their hands upon arrival at the nursery.
  • Children and staff members will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.

Proper hand washing protocol

Hand washing is essential in our reopening.  When in doubt, wash thoroughly and often, using liquid soap and water. We will wash our hands:

  • Upon arrival in the morning and re-entering the building throughout the day;
  • Whenever one’s hands are visibly dirty;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After coughing or sneezing into one’s hands, or into a disposable tissue;
  • Before eating;
  • When going from one room to another (including the garden); and
  • After physical contact with others.

Cleaning

  • We have an enhanced cleaning schedule that is implemented that includes furniture, surfaces and children’s toys and equipment.
  • Toilets are cleaned after every use using standard cleaning products and sprayed with disinfectant.
  • All high-contact surfaces, including touch paints and hand washing facilities, tables, door handles, taps, intercom and light switches are disinfected after each use.
  • Toys are cleaned at the end of the each day and any toys that are not easily disinfected are put away until the end of the Covid pandemic.
  • Electronics such as tablets and computers are disinfected before and after each use.
  • Moderate cleaning will take place whenever possible during the day (i.e. when the children are eating, napping) but deeper cleaning and sterilisation will be done between 5pm and 6pm each day.
  • In order to complete this enhanced cleaning schedule we will ask that all children be collected before 5:30pm.
  • Whilst in Tier 4, we please ask that you only keep your child at the setting for the time that is needed (not to keep them in for full days if you dont have to).

Laundry

  • Laundry such as bedding is only used by one child and is washed every day.
  • Items such as towels, flannels and bedding are not shared by children.
  • Children are required to wear clean clothing every day and parents/carers are encouraged to pack their child’s bag with enough spare clothing for all weather.  Spare nursery clothing should not be used/needed during this pandemic.
  • Parents/carers are now required to label all of their child’s own personal clothing to avoid mix-ups/accidental swapping.  The nursery will not be responsible for a lost item of clothing if it is unlabelled. 
  • Staff will be required to change and wash their uniforms daily. 

Risk assessment

  1. All activity will continue to be risk assessed and due consideration given to any adaptations to usual practice.  The suspension of learning experiences involving materials which are not easily washable and the suspension of sharing utensils will continue for the time being.
  2. All children will have their snacks and meals served in individual bowls/plates to eliminate the sharing of food.

PPE

  • Government guidance states that PPE is not required for general use in early years settings however PPE will continue to be worn as normal for nappy changing, the serving of food and the administration of first aid.
  • Staff have been given the choice to wear as much PPE as they want during the day.  This may include wearing gloves to collect and drop-off your child(ren) and wearing their visors for longer periods throughout the day.

7. Premises

Building

  • We will be keeping windows open throughout the day to ensure ventilation.

Resources

  • Children will not be permitted to bring items from home into the nursery unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing.  Where this is the case please contact Laura or Sian directly (any items brought in will be appropriately cleaned upon arrival).
  • All resources required for play and learning experiences of children will be regularly washed and/or sterilised.
  • Equipment used by staff such as stationary, tablets etc will be allocated to individual staff members where possible and will be cleaned after each use.
  • Daily diaries will still not be in use at present.

8. Supplies

Procurement and monitoring

  • We will ensure an adequate supply of essential supplies and contingency plans are in place to minimise the impact of any shortages of supplies.
  • A monitoring system for the usage of PPE is essential to ensure that a supply of stock is available to all who require it as and when required to meet our operational needs.  When stocks are low, other options may be considered, such as the use of washable tabards.  These items will be washed at a high temperature and separate to any other nursery washing.
  • In the case the supply of food is interrupted, procedures will be implemented to ensure the appropriate food alternatives are sourced and normal food safety and hygiene processes are followed.

9. Responding to a suspected case

Procedure

  • In the event of a child developing suspected coronavirus and cold symptoms whilst attending the setting, they must be collected as soon as possible and isolated at home in line with the NHS guidance.  
  • Whilst waiting for the child to be collected they will be isolated from others with a member of staff in the office, with the windows opened for ventilation.
  • Where possible, the staff member responsible for the child during this time will be a staff member from their bubble.  The staff member will wear appropriate PPE including a face mask whilst waiting with the child.
  • The office will then be thoroughly cleaned.
  • The person responsible for cleaning the area will wear appropriate PPE.
  • In the event of a staff member developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst working at the nursery, they will return home immediately and isolate at home in line with the NHS guidance.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), a test can be obtained to check if you have the virus via the NHS website on the following link: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test.

10. Fees

Procedure

  • As long as the nursery remains open, all fees will be payable as per the terms and conditions in your contract.  Fees will also still be payable if your child/household has to isolate, is absent through illness and/or holiday.  Failure to pay your child’s fees by the due date may result in the appropriate action being taken, your child’s place being terminated and the deposit kept.
  • In the event the nursery has been told to close by officials, fees will be frozen and re-applied to the month we re-open again.
  • In the event Covid is detected in the nursery and your child’s bubble has to close, fees will be frozen and re-applied to the month we re-open.
  • In the event Covid is detected in the nursery and the whole setting has to close, fees will be frozen and re-applied to the month we re-open.
  • In the event you wish to withdraw your child(ren) from nursery, 1 month’s written notice must be provided and all fees due during this time will still be payable.  Failure to provide 1 month’s written notice will result in the nursery keeping your deposit.
  • In the event you wish to increase/change your child’s attendance days, 1 month’s written notice is again required.  All applicable fees remain payable during this time.

Updated: 4 January 2021