Westside Pre-School Pandemic Policy
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak
Westside Pre-School intends to use this policy to provide precautionary measures to minimise transmission risks of disease in the setting during an epidemic or pandemic. It also states ideas for continuity of business if allowed.
Legislation and leading authorities which have guided and influenced this policy are:
Coronavirus Act 2020, Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Government Briefings, Public Health England (PHE) and World Health Organisation (WHO). Advice from but not limited to, The Secretary of State, The Chief Medical Officer, Local Authority (LA) and Department for Education (DfE). The policy also has regard to Ofsted and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance where appropriate.
Aim of Policy
This Policy defines and assists the operating arrangements in place within the preschool that assures compliance to the Government and leading bodies requirements with relation to the outbreak of a pandemic such as Covid19. This information builds upon our current procedures for areas such as Safeguarding, Child Protection and Equality and Diversity, however new practices may emerge as the situation continues. The policy and considerations may evolve and be built upon as the situation deepens and new precautionary measures have been introduced and practices have been reflected upon.
As early years providers we ensure to offer a continuum of very high standards of practice of childcare and education. The fundamental principles to be outlined in this policy are set out to ensure reasonable social distancing are enabled and that good hygiene practices are implemented as well as avoiding coming into contact with infected children and adults or anyone displaying symptoms. It states that the protective measures put in place for children, parents and staff reduce the risk of transmission. We will continue to follow all our other policies as long as they do not conflict with this policy and be guided by the EYFS as best as we can. The main areas we will be considering are:
Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell
Maintaining personal and respiratory hygiene (handwashing, catch it, kill it, bin it)
Ensuring cleanliness of the environment (especially frequently touched surfaces) As per our COVID-19 19 risk assessments
Minimising general contact and mixing (creating small groups and placing a temporarily cap on our numbers)
The use of Protective and Personal Equipment (PPE)
Focus/ Areas of Consideration / Recommendations Children
Only children who are symptom free or have completed the required isolation period should attend the Pre-School.
Westside Pre-school will take the temperatures of children and staff on arrival and throughout the day as required.
Children who have taken a COVID-19 test can return to Pre-school once a negative test has been received and a copy of the negative results provided to Pre-school.
Westside Pre-school will risk assess any children /staff who are returning to Pre-School after a period of isolation.
Extremely vulnerable children should continue under government advice (to shield).
Families who attend at least two settings should choose only one setting to minimise the spread of infection.
Payment of sessions,
As per our payment policy, fees must still be made if your child is absent for any reason, for example, illness or on holiday.
Should your child/ family or household member test positive with COVID-19 please forward a copy of the positive test results to Pre-School so that we can deduct the period of isolation from your account.
Should Westside Pre-School be required to close due to COVID-19 any payments due throughout the closure period will be deducted from your account.
Smaller amounts of children in the whole setting may be advised or preferable. As we usually run to capacity most days this could be achieved by, but not limited to:
A temporary cap on the number of children in the setting at any one time.
Temporarily limiting funded hours to only 1 full day per child initially, ensuring all children have access to some preschool time over the remainder of the term
Changing children’s hours to one full day rather than an afternoon or morning, Parents can still collect their child at any time
Only initially allowing keyworker, vulnerable and children transitioning to school to attend
Grouping children to certain days, such as in groups of children moving to school, where it could help with transitions.
Prioritising children such as those who are vulnerable, those with special educational needs, those from households where both parents are key workers.
Wellbeing and education
Children should be supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular hand washing, coughing into an elbow, using a tissue and adopting a catch it, kill it, bin it regime.
Children should be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering because of Covid-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time.
EYFS framework will continue to be delivered through play and adult led activities.
Parents are asked to provide children’s lunches in plastic containers that can be easily disinfected.
Sunscreen should be applied by the parents/carers before the child arrives at the preschool. T shirts covering shoulders and leggings, loose trousers or long shorts would be preferable to minimise how much top up of sunscreen the preschool staff will apply.
Staff should only attend preschool if they are symptom free, have completed the required isolation period or achieved a negative test result. All staff and their household are eligible for testing if they display symptoms.
Providers will take the temperature of staff on arrival.
Staff hours, days they work and length of day may change in order to meet childcare demands and considerations within this policy.
Staff will complete a risk assessment before opening to address any risks from the virus and ensure appropriate safe measures are in place to control risks.
Staff to be informed of measures in place and signed to state they have read and understood the preschool policies and procedures.
Staff have been advised by the government not to wear PPE such as facemasks during their day but should continue to wear PPE at the usual times such as intimate care which includes wearing disposable gloves and an apron.
If a member of staff is caring for a child who has developed symptoms of COVID-19 throughout the day, they will be required to wear a face mask whilst they look after the child who is isolated from the group waiting to be collected. This is because a 2-metre distance is not able to be kept from a child displaying symptoms.
The staff member who was caring for the unwell child should continue to wear PPE and clean the affected area with disinfectant.
All PPE should be removed and disposed of following current government guidelines, the staff member should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
The staff member who supported the unwell child does not need to go home unless they are developing symptoms themselves.
Staff members should avoid physical contact with each other including handshakes, hugs etc.
Staff to wear fresh, clean clothes for each session. If uniform is not able to be laundered in time for the next session they are in, the staff member should speak to their manager and fresh suitable clothes should be worn instead.
Advise staff to remove their work clothes before they enter their home and take a shower immediately to remove any germs they may have picked up.
Where possible, meetings and training sessions should be conducted through virtual conferencing.
All staff members must receive appropriate instruction and training in infection control and the standard operating procedures and risk assessments within which they will be operating.
Online training may be available to allow their training levels to be maintained if appropriate.
Only parents who are symptom free and or have completed the required isolation periods will be able to drop off or collect their child.
We will aim to minimise the ‘pinch points’ during the day and limit drop off and pick up to one person per family, ideally the same person
We will advise and ensure that parents follow the social distancing guidelines.
When parents are waiting to drop off or collect their child, social distancing should be maintained.
Westside Pre-School consider allowing a parent to enter the pre-school garden area for the purpose of settling an upset child.
If a child has become distressed and needs the parent to settle them, this should take place in the garden area.
The provider should consider measures to minimise contact between the parent and other children and staff members.
Parents should receive clear communication regarding the role they play in the safe operating procedure and all measures being taken to ensure the safety of their children and themselves.
Parents should inform preschool of their circumstances and if they plan to keep their child away, this helps preschool to conform to our safeguarding policy along with maintaining staff to child ratio
Attendance to the setting will be restricted to only children and staff as far as practically possible and visitors will not be permitted into the preschool unless essential (e.g. essential building maintenance).
Where essential visits are required these should be made outside of the usual preschool operational hours where possible.
Parents and carers should not enter the Pre-School or Community Centre unless there is an emergency.
Wherever possible staff and parents should travel to preschool alone, using their own transport or if possible, walk.
If public transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed.
Parents should avoid visiting any shops on the way to preschool.
All children and staff must wash their hands upon arrival at the nursery for at least 20 seconds and again when leaving the Pre-School.
Hand sanitizer will be available for all children and staff to use regularly.
Children and staff members should be encouraged to wash their hands frequently, this includes before and after eating food, after visiting the toilet, after sneezing, blowing their nose or coughing into their hand and dealing with unwell people.
Bodily fluid spills should follow the correct procedures as normal.
An enhanced cleaning schedule must be implemented that includes furniture, surfaces and children’s toys and equipment and all staff are responsible in their area of work.
Touch points and hand washing facilities are be cleaned and sanitised hourly and cleaned thoroughly at the end of every session.
The Pre-School room, kitchen, cloakroom, toilets, office & storage areas, and equipment will be steamed and fogged at the end of each day.
A deep clean may be needed after a child has become ill in the area they were waiting.
All waste must be disposed of in a hygienic and safe manner following government guidelines.
The setting will be risk assessed before opening to address the risks from the virus and due consideration given to any adaptations to usual practice. Sensible measures should be put in place and policies and procedures followed.
Limit the resources that we have out available for the children including any toys which have intricate pieces that would be hard to clean.
Remove anything which cannot be easily wiped down or cleaned at the end of the day.
Government guidance is that PPE is not required for general use in early years settings to protect against COVID- 19 transmission.
PPE should continue to be worn and disposed of as normal for nappy changing, one to one care and the administration of first aid.
If a child shows symptoms, staff should wear a face mask, visor, disposable gloves and apron if a 2-meter distance cannot be maintained at all times. PPE should be disposed of following government guidelines.
Keep windows open where possible to ensure good levels of ventilation. If doors are opened ensure the children safety is maintained with locked gates.
Children should not be permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless essential for their wellbeing. Any comforters that are brought in from home should be clean and hygienic. Any belongings that are brought in from home should remain in the child’s bag.
All resources required for play and learning experiences of children should be regularly washed and/or sterilized. Any resources which are difficult to clean should be removed.
Equipment used by staff such as stationary, tablets etc. should be allocated to individual staff members where possible and cleaned regularly in between use.
Supplies Procurement & Monitoring
The preschool should ensure an adequate supply of essential supplies and contingency plans such as additional suppliers are in place to minimise the impact of any shortages of supplies. (Anti-bacterial sprays, Gloves, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels).
The preschool will not be able to operate without essential supplies required for ensuring infection control.
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 the operational needs of the setting.
Responding to a suspected case
In the event of a child developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst attending the Pre-School, they should be collected as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with the current NHS guidance.
Whilst waiting for the child to be collected they should be isolated from others. If possible, a window should be opened for ventilation.
The staff member responsible for the child during this time will be provided with suitable PPE required such as a face mask, visor disposable gloves and apron.
The area should be thoroughly cleaned immediately if the area cannot be left unvisited, and if the area can be left unvisited then it should be cleaned after 72 hours.
The person responsible for cleaning ideally should be the person dealing with the unwell child and should continue to wear their PPE. This should then be disposed of according to current government guidelines.
In the event of a staff member developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst working at the Pre-School they should return home immediately and isolate at home in line with the NHS guidance. They should also follow current testing advice for themselves and their household.
Once Early years settings open to more children, all children who are attending a childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. The aim is to enable children to get back to childcare, and their parents or carers not to need to self-isolate any longer than necessary if the test proves to be negative. A positive test will ensure rapid action can be taken to protect other children and staff at Westside Pre-School
We ask all parents and carers to ensure they organise a test for their child, in the event that they develop coronavirus symptoms, and notify us immediately of a positive test. Parents can access a test for under 5’s by contacting 111.
Review Date: Ongoing - (September 2020)