COVID-19 Safety Measures
The safety of your child, the team and families during the current Corona Virus outbreak is our main focus. We are following Government advice and will be guided by them and the science, following that to keep safe whilst being flexible and supporting children back to nursery.
We’ll be regularly monitoring the situation and will update procedures as and when advised and guided.
We have devised procedures that we will all need to follow so that your children can start to return to nursery from 1st June.
- Only our team and children are allowed in the building.
- Please keep 2m apart when waiting outside and follow our signage.
- Everyone entering the building must wash their hands.
- Every room will have small groups of children cared for by the same team members with no contact with other groups or team members for now.
- We can’t social distance young children, the guidance says we must keep them in small consistent groups with the same peers & team.
- All of our team have completed a Covid19 safety course to ensure they are aware of how to stay safe.
- We’re washing our hands more frequently and we’re wiping down high use areas more frequently too.
- Rooms will be adapted to ensure we can clean them effectively and we’ve removed any toys or furnishings that are trickier to clean.
- Every evening our cleaners will complete a thorough deep clean of all areas.
- We are ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ method.
- If a child or member of the team has a new persistent cough and/or temperature of 37.8 or above they will be sent home to self-isolate for 7 days.
- The team will still comfort children as we fully recognise they need reassurance and hugs.
- PPE will only be worn when caring for a child who is unwell as per guidance, keeping nursery ‘normal’ is important whilst staying safe.
You can read our COVID-19 policies here (PDF)
On arrival at nursery
There will be clear and visible signage telling you what to do. Examples are visible here on this page. Once you have arrived at your nursery’s car park, ensure you follow social distancing rules until you reach the first sign approaching the entrance of your nursery.
Then follow the guidance as set out on that sign and by the team.
Picking up your child
Ensure you adhere to the same social distancing rules that you observed on arrival. Your child will be brought out to you at the door.
This is a new way of working for us all. However, we have to be guided by the Government and their advice. We may learn something new each day and so will keep everyone updated with regular updates on our Facebook page and memo’s.
We have also published some FAQs – frequently asked questions – and will continue to add to these as more things come to light so that you can be as fully informed as possible. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us.
What is your approach to operating nurseries during the pandemic?
Our priority is the safety of our team, children and their families. We are following the government guidance and continue to be led by this, updating our procedures as we need to. We will continue to introduce new measures to ensure we are meeting the requirements set out by the NHS, Public Health England and Department for Education.
Do I have to pay fees whilst my child is staying at home?
No, we have not charged parents from 1st April as we understand this is a very difficult time for everyone and we do not want to add any further pressure. If you decide not to re-enrol straight away then your child’s place will be frozen until you decide you want to return. Places cannot be held open indefinitely as I am sure you can appreciate we need to get our full team back to work. Should another family apply for your place, we will contact you to offer it to you first.
What safety measures will be in place for my child’s return to nursery?
In line with current recommendations we have put many additional measures in place to keep everyone safe which include nursery access restrictions, social distancing for our team and enhanced hygiene practices. We’re also following the below:
• Only our team and children are allowed in the building.
• Please keep 2m apart when waiting outside and follow our signage.
• Everyone entering the building must wash their hands.
• Every room will have small groups of children cared for by the same team members and there will be no contact with other groups or team members for now.
• We cannot social distance young children, the guidance says we must keep them in small consistent groups with the same peers and team.
• All of our team have completed a Covid19 safety course to ensure they are aware of how to stay safe.
• We’re washing our hands more frequently and we’re wiping down high use areas more frequently too.
• Rooms will be adapted to ensure we can clean them effectively and we’ve removed any toys or furnishings that are trickier to clean for now.
• Every evening our cleaners will complete a thorough deep clean of all areas.
• We are ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ method.
• If a child or member of the team has a new persistent cough and/or temperature of 37.8 or above they will be sent home to self-isolate for 7 days.
• The team will still comfort children as we fully recognise they need reassurance and hugs.
• The team will only wear PPE when caring for a child who is unwell, we want to keep nursery as normal and fun as we can whilst following the Government’s advice.
How will you be managing social distancing requirements?
At drop off and pick up times we are asking parents to maintain a 2m distance whilst waiting for a team member to greet you. We will welcome your child at the door, take them to wash their hands and start our day. At the end of the day, we will bring your child to you and hand over at the door. Signage at the nurseries will help guide you.
Children will be cared for in small consistent groups, children and staff from other groups will not mix for now. We have made changes to our indoor environments and the organisation of activities to encourage children to naturally use all areas of the room, rather than congregate in one area. Outdoor play will be limited to one group at a time. We have also looked at our staff areas and provided guidance to our team on how to implement social distancing in the nursery. We recognise that social distancing for our nurseries represents a challenge for young children who like close contact with adults and other children and we want to reassure you that we won’t stop hugging children when they need a cuddle or some reassurance.
How are you managing access to the nursery?
Non-essential visitors are not permitted at the nursery, only our team and children will be allowed inside for now.
Will staff be wearing PPE such as masks?
We want to make nursery feel as normal as possible for everyone whilst keeping everyone safe and for that reason, staff will only wear PPE when very close contact with an unwell child is required during the day and they need to be isolated whist awaiting collection. Staff can wear PPE throughout the day if they wish to.
Are staff being tested?
In line with the current government guidelines staff do not need to be routinely tested at this stage. Staff and children can be tested if they display symptoms and we can provide support with this should we need to.
What additional cleaning and hygiene processes are you putting in place?
We will be regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by children and adults. These include high-risk contact areas such as door handles and doors, toys and children’s resources, light switches, taps, toilet flushes, sinks, countertops, handrails and banisters. We have removed activities which could pose a risk for cross contamination, such as play dough and sand / water trays. As well as ensuring that staff and children are cleaning hands more often than usual, we are ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to any coughs or sneezes. Children will be supported to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly.
What happens if a child or staff member becomes ill during the nursery day?
If children or staff develop any symptoms such as a new continuous cough or a high temperature of 37.8°C we will take immediate action. Staff will be asked to return home immediately, self-isolate and seek a test. For children we have a dedicated isolation area where they will be taken and cared for by a member of staff who is known to them until a parent can come and collect them. No staff member who has COVID-19 symptoms, (or who has a member of their family displaying symptoms) will be admitted into the nursery until they have either completed self-isolation in line with government guidance or have had a test and tested negative.
How will you support children’s understanding of the new measures and practices?
We’ll continue with our regular hand washing and talk about the importance of good hygiene practices, this forms part of our daily routine outside of a pandemic and we have posters to enforce this message.
Will my child’s key person remain the same?
We will endeavour where possible not to change a child’s key person: however, due to the need to reduce group sizes and the fact that many of our team remain furloughed, we do anticipate that for some children this could mean a key person change. If this is necessary, we will communicate with families as changes are made.
Will you continue to plan activities for my child or are you operating as a creche?
We will allow children some time to settle back into nursery and begin our normal process of observing and planning for each individual child, ensuring that all children remain engaged and are making good progress. We will continue to follow the EYFS and ensure that children are accessing provision for the 7 areas of learning.
How will you settle children back to nursery routine?
We will always ensure we take each individual child’s needs into account when settling into nursery and comfort children if they become upset. We’ll be asking parents to let us know if there have been any changes to their child’s routine / diet / medical needs that we need to know about.
What if my child is poorly (not COVID-19 related) do they have to stay away?
We ask parents to retain their usual vigilance around not sending their child to nursery if unwell, unless it is a very minor illness. Please speak to your nursery manager if in any doubt.
Will the nursery retain its usual opening times?
The nursery will operate as closely as possible to its usual schedule, we ask for patience around drop off and pick up in order to comply with social distancing and to avoid the busy periods.
What are the key points you have put in place to keep everyone safe?
• Anyone displaying symptoms COVID-19 e.g. a high temperature, new, persistent cough and loss of taste and/or smell will not be able to attend nursery
• Social distancing, as far as possible, will be promoted
• PPE will be used in the setting during nappy changing, when caring for a child who is displaying symptoms or when dealing with incidents involving bodily fluids
• Enhanced cleaning of all areas and especially touch points
• Regular handwashing
• Visitors and parents to remain outside of nursery building
• Careful monitoring of children’s health
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, will parents be told?
If there is a confirmed case connected to the nursery, it’s staff or children, we will advise you by email and signs around the nursery, whilst maintaining confidentiality
How will social distancing be respected in nursery?
All families will be asked to respect social distancing when arriving at nursery for drop off and collection. At nursery, we will aim to achieve this by:
• Monitoring our occupancy carefully
• Avoiding the movement of children and staff between rooms or within communal spaces
• Using the outside areas as much as possible
• Spending time in small groups (bubbles)
• Each room working independently of other groups
• Providing more areas and time slots for staff to have their breaks
• Keeping the same staff member with the same bubble group as far as possible
Will my child be comforted if upset?
Social distancing must be carefully balanced with ensuring the emotional wellbeing of each child. If your child needs their comforter or a hug, this would never be denied. We know that returning to nursery might be unsettling at first, but we will do everything we can to comfort and reassure them. So far our children have been so happy to be back and any upset soon passes when they are in their room with their friends and the team.
Our team are experienced at settling children and nothing has changed. We will care for your child in the same loving ways we always have, offering support and comfort.
Will you talk about the virus at nursery?
Whilst we do not want to frighten the children, it is important that we recognise that this has had an impact on them and their families for several weeks. It might also be that some children might have had a bereavement in the family. We have stories that talk about the virus and the team will talk about the importance of handwashing and coughing safely.
It is important that we are receptive to any thoughts and fears and give the children the opportunity to ask questions.
If we have any concerns, we will always share these with you. It is useful if you can reassure your child about their return to nursery and that they will have friends to play with, they will have fun, but they must wash their hands lots.
Dr Dog explains coronavirus – www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/dr-dog-ebook-eyfs-t-p-843
This book is aimed at early years children and was written by the London School of Hygiene
Will we know who will be looking after our child’s bubble and how many children will be in the bubble?
On a weekly basis we will be updating all families with how our week has been including a general update on nursery and how many children / name of the team are in the bubbles.
Is there an incentive financially for parents to drop off later and collect earlier?
We cannot offer such an incentive at this time as we are already managing a flexible return for June and trying to organise the bubbles to maintain consistency.
If a child in the same bubble group as my child is unwell, will I be told?
You will be told if a child in your child’s bubble group tests positive for COVID-19, but the child’s name will remain confidential.
How will you encourage children to maintain social distancing but still enable them to play alongside one another?
This is probably one of the hardest issues to manage. Young children are naturally very affectionate with one another and learning to play alongside, together and to share are very important life skills. We will talk to the children about being careful, taking turns, not pushing past each other and so on.
We will ensure that handwashing and hygiene is paramount and that our team maintain social distancing and organise their bubbles in such a way as to minimise contact with another bubble.
We must remember that it has been deemed that it is safe to open nurseries and that as long as we adhere to our safe operating procedures, reviewing our practice and being vigilant, then we are doing the best we can do. It is impossible to eliminate all risk.
Can my child be tested?
From June 1st, if your child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you can book a test online through the NHS website. You can phone 119 for advice, but will have to book the test yourself. Those who test positive will be contacted by the NHS test and trace service within 24 hours to establish who they have been in contact with and could have infected. If positive, the other children and staff attached to that bubble group will need to self-isolate and get tested. Even if the members of that group get tested and this comes back negative, the infection could be incubating and so the 14 days self-isolation still applies.
My child is due to start for the first time, will I need to organise some settling in sessions?
We re-opened on 1st June and our children have all come back very happy. Any child that was upset has quickly settled. If your child is reluctant to leave you we can invite you into the garden to help settle but so far we have found it best to leave at the door and let the team take over.
We will allow parents of new children to enter the nursery but they must keep a strict 2m distance between the other children and team members during this time.
My child is teething and might require Calpol
One of the main symptoms of COVID-19 is a high temperature and so we cannot accept any children who require Calpol in case it is masking a temperature. If you know your child is teething and maybe looks flushed, please speak with the nursery manager and we are happy for you to supply teething granules or gel. Latest research shows that teething does not cause a temperature so if your child does develop one, there is likely to be something else causing it.
Can I bring a bag in from home?
Please bring in a bag that can hang on your child’s peg with spare clothes, nappies, wipes, formula and their comforter.
Will you give prescribed medicine?
If your child requires medicine, your manager will ask you to complete a form at the door and we will administer as required.
What should I do if there is a long queue to get into nursery?
Please be patient, we are bring the children into nursery as safely as possible. If we find that the drop off and collection times are becoming too busy then we will allocate slots to all families.
Are the team aware of all the new procedures?
All the teams have received a re-opening induction and specifically information on signs and symptoms and how to react to a suspected case of COVID-19, handwashing, good hygiene and social distancing. They have been made aware of the track and trace and understand the requirements of them both inside and outside of nursery. Everyone has completed an online training course ahead of returning to work.
I am sure you will appreciate that this is a learning curve for everyone and that they will all be doing their best to keep everyone safe, so we ask for your support as we work through all these adjustments.
Now that the Government has put in place a track and trace system, it will hopefully help to identify any cases of COVID-19. However, we are trying our best to limit any chance of infection and this is why we have put our safe operating procedures into place.
We do rely on everyone in our community to try and follow the rules outside nursery as well and help keep nursery safe and virus free. We would ask you to be cautious in favour of staying away, rather than bringing in your child in if they seem at all unwell.
We are continually reviewing guidance and will notify you of changes to our policies and procedures. Last Update 03.06.2020
Signage you will see on arriving at the nursery
Please ensure you follow these instructions to help us maintain everyone’s safety.