Meldreth Preschool provides precautionary measures to minimise transmission risks of disease in the setting during an epidemic or pandemic.
Legislation and leading authorities which have guided and influenced our response 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.
Current operating arrangements in place within the preschool 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. Further considerations may evolve and be built upon as the local situation changes and new precautionary measures are introduced and practices have been reflected upon.
As early years providers we will ensure that all reasonable social distancing expectations with young children 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.
Protective measures will be 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)
- Minimising general contact and mixing (creating small groups and placing a temporarily cap on our numbers)
- Promoting Test and Trace
- Only children who are symptom free or have completed the required isolation period should attend the setting.
- Families who attend at least two settings should choose only one for the remainder of the term to ensure we can obtain the children in small groups.
- Staff may exercise their own judgement during the day for the high standards of safety for all children.
- Smaller amounts of children in the whole setting may be advised. As we usually run to capacity most days this could be achieved by, but not limited to,
- a temporary cap on the amount of children in the setting at anyone time.
- prioritising children such as those who are vulnerable, those with special educational needs, those from households where both parents work (or work full time)
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, coughing into an elbow, using a tissue and adopting a catch it, kill it, bin it regime.
- Children will be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of Covid-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time.
- The EYFS framework will continue to be delivered through play and adult led activities.
- We will ask that parents to bring in a named water bottle for their child.
- Staff will 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.
- Staff have read the setting (school) risk assessment b to address any risks from the virus and ensure appropriate safe measures are in place to control risks.
- Staff have been informed of measures in place and have signed a disclaimer to state they have read and understood the policies and procedures that have been put in place by the setting (school).
- 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 may be required to wear a face mask whilst they look after a child who will be isolated from the group waiting to be collected.*
*This is because a 2 metre distance may not be able to be kept from a child displaying symptoms.
- Any 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 child does not need to go home unless they are developing symptoms themselves.
- Social distancing will be maintained during breaks. This may be achieved through a range of strategies including the staggering of breaks,
- Staff to wear fresh, clean clothes for each session. If uniform isn’t 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.
- Staff are advised 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 will be conducted through virtual conferencing.
- All staff members will receive appropriate instruction and training in infection control and the standard operating procedures and risk assessments within which they will be operating.
- Only parents who are symptom free and or have completed the required isolation periods will be able to drop off or collect their child.
- When parents are waiting to drop off or collect their child, social distancing should be maintained in a safe area sticking to government social distancing policies.
- We will consider allowing a parent to enter the first gated part of the preschool for the purpose of settling an upset child. If a child has become distressed and needs a parent to settle them, this should take place in the gated area. Staff will consider measures to minimise contact between parents and other children and staff members.
- Attendance to the setting is restricted to only children and staff as far as practically possible and visitors should not be permitted to the preschool unless essential (e.g. essential building maintenance).
- Where essential visits are required these will be made outside of the usual preschool operational hours where possible.
- As far as possible parents and carers should not enter the premises.
Hygiene and Health & Safety
- All children and staff must wash their hands upon arrival at preschool for at least 20 seconds.
- Children and staff members will be 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 will be implemented that includes furniture, surfaces and children’s toys and equipment and all staff are responsible in their area of work.
- Communal areas, touch points and hand washing facilities will be cleaned and sanitised regularly and cleaned thoroughly at the end of every session.
- 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.
- Tissues etc that have been used by a child or staff member with suspected Covid 19 must be disposed of following the government guidelines.
- Tissues must be immediately disposed of and placed in a bin with a bag, lid and foot pedal.
- Bodily fluids must be double bagged and disposed of in a bin with a bag, lid and foot pedal.
- Tissue bins will be emptied regularly throughout the day.
- The setting has been 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.
- It is expected that this would include, but not be limited to, the suspension of learning experiences involving materials which are not easily washable such as malleable materials (playdough, clay) and the suspension of the sharing of food and utensils.
- We will:
- 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.
- Play food, play cutlery and crockery etc. or anything else which may be ‘mouthed’ by many children will be removed
- Baking, food play and finger painting will be avoided.
- Water play will be restricted to the water tray with the addition of soap bubbles.
- The use of outdoor equipment will be prioritised over other forms of play.
- Children are not be permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing.
- All resources required for play and learning experiences of children will be regularly washed and/or sterilized. Any resources which are difficult to clean will be removed.
- Equipment used by staff such as stationary, iPads etc. will be allocated to individual staff members where possible and cleaned regularly in between use.
Our risk assessment will be reviewed regularly by the school Headteacher and Preschool Manager. New government legislation and policies will be incorporated appropriately as and when required or informed.