Living with Covid 19 Policy 1st April 2022 Introduction
This policy applies to all employees, students and anyone professional visiting the pre-school, as well as service users; parents and children.
At Little Lambs Pre-school we cannot control what happens outside, nor can we control children social distancing, but we can put in place safety measures to mitigate this.
• Avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
• Frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
• Regular cleaning of setting
• Minimising contact and mixing
Purpose of the policy
Protect all employees and service users including parents and children from coming into contact with Coronavirus (COVID-19)
To maintain the minimum level of staff to continue to provide the welfare needs of children in our care.
To prevent the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19)
• New, continuous cough- this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
• High temperature – if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
• Anosmia (loss or change of sense of smell or taste) - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal The list has recently been updated to include:
• Shortness of breath • Feeling tired or exhausted • An aching body • A headache • A sore throat • A blocked or runny nose • Loss of appetite • Diarrhoea • Feeling sick or being sick.
Parents/ carers have a duty of care to inform staff at Little Lambs Pre-school if their child has symptoms; particularly a temperature.
The pre-school is closely monitoring information from the DofH and Public Health England on the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19) and keeping staff informed.
Parents must ensure the emergency contact details are up to date
A record of children/staffing groupings will be kept
This policy will be regularly updated in line with government guidance
The pre-school may need to close if advised by Public Health England due to a local/ regional outbreak, if there are several positive cases within the setting or there is not enough staff to care for the children. A contingency plan has been put in place however, to minimise disruption for the shortest amount of time.
Changes to Operation
Cleaning measures including; regular washing of toys used, extra cleaning of frequently used surfaces; door handles, taps, toilet handles, light switches etc will take place.
Hand washing will take place at regular intervals throughout the session. Children will be accompanied to the toilet to ensure adequate hand washing.
Staff will test themselves at home with Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD) if they feel unwell. If a staff member tests positive, they will not come into pre-school and will stay at home. The pre-school will continue to remain open, operating with the remainder of staff. All staff and children will be notified of the positive case and parents can put in place their own protective measures. Staff members who have a household member testing positive, will test with a LFD.
Our session times will now resume, dependant on agreed drop off and collection times;
Drop off - on or after 8.30am, on or after 9.30am
Collection – any time on or before 1.30pm, 3pm or 4pm.
Red room / Green Room
We now operate as two smaller groups. However if there is a reduction of staff due to Covid-19, we will put in place our contingency plan and the two groups will join together, in order to maintain an appropriate ratio of staff to children. This may result in certain groups of children’s attendance being prioritised; particularly children of critical workers and vulnerable children including those with EHCPs and social worker involvement, then 4 year olds, 3 year olds then finally two year olds.
Arrivals and departures
We are going to continue to ask parents to drop off and collect at the door, as staff have found this to be a better way to manage these times. Children will be required to wash their hands on entry and before leaving to go home. Please do not bring any items to pre-school from home. We are gradually starting to invite parents back into the pre-school in small numbers.
We endeavour to use the garden as much as possible. Children need to be dress appropriately for the weather; eg, coat, hat etc in the winter and sun cream and hats in the summer. Whilst indoors, we will have windows open to ensure ventilation.
Play & learning
The resources will be limited and rotated in order to have clean supplies of toys for the children. We will plan individually for those with high level of needs. All reviews of children’s progress of development will either take place virtually or face to face in the setting (whilst ensuring good ventilation).
Payment of fees
Parents will be asked to use bank transfer only.
All visitors will be required to sign in and disclose that they currently do not display any Covid 19 symptoms. Professionals can now visit and observe children, however we still aim to conduct meetings virtually with professionals instead of in the setting if possible.
Prospective parents and children are welcome into the setting but every effort will be made to minimise contact with children. The garden will be used for both; all children and visiting parents or whilst all children are outside, a child and parent can enter the premises to familiarise themselves with the building.
New children starting
Paperwork will be completed and policies will be available to read online prior to the child starting. Settling in for children may take longer than usual, as parents will only have the opportunity to stay with their child for a short amount of time. The parent may be invited in to settle the child at the beginning of the session, different times may be allocated initially to avoid the main drop off time.
PPE is not required to be used by pre-school staff apart from the usual intimate care (nappy changing) and dealing with bodily fluid. It may also be worn if a child becomes unwell whilst at preschool.
Children will pre-existing medical needs
Children with pre-existing medical needs will have their care plans reviewed regularly, to ensure the child only attends when they are well enough to do so. If a child is teething, a temperature is not an associated symptom according to NHS guidance. However, if a child has had a recent vaccination, a mild temperature can be a side effect.
If a child becomes ill whilst at pre-school
If a child displays symptoms whilst at preschool, they will be taken away from the main group and will remain with an adult while waiting to be collected. The isolation space will be the foyer by the front door. At this time, staff in contact with the child may wear PPE (face mask, gloves and apron). The child will not be able to return to pre-school for at least 3 days from the onset of the symptoms or when they are better.
If a child/staff displays symptoms
NO-ONE (STAFF OR CHILD) WITH SYMPTOMS SHOULD ATTEND FOR ANY REASON. If a child has a temperature, they will be sent home immediately. They will be required to stay at home for at least three days or when they feel well enough to come back. Current guidance states that those with Covid 19/ symptoms need plenty of fluids and rest. Not all illnesses are Covid 19, they may have another cold or virus – if this is the case it is best to avoid contact with others until they are better.
At Little Lambs, we will use our own judgement to protect those in the setting from the possible infection of Covid 19 and will refuse entry to a sick child if need be.
If a member of your household has symptoms
In the current situation, if children living in a household where there is a confirmed positive case, we are asking parents to keep their children at home due to the potential risk to others.
We are hoping that we can start to move forward and want to keep everyone (both children and staff) well enough to attend.