Coronavirus Policy (COVID-19)
This policy and procedures have been written using the most up to date guidance issued by the Government, Ofsted, Public Health England and our relevant Local Authorities and is adjusted Coronavirus is a new virus which came to worldwide attention in 2019. There is currently a worldwide pandemic and this policy is written to show how we are managing to reduce the risk of infection and it’s spread within the nursery and Training Centre settings. We have a full and regularly updated risk assessment in place to cover all children, families, staff and Learners in order to maintain their safety. This is distributed to all staff and is published on our website for parents and Learners to access. Parents can request their own copy if they wish and will be informed as it is updated. Specific risk assessments for clinically vulnerable users are completed individually as required. We have put in place the 5 steps to ensure we are a COVID Secure workplace
Reducing the risk of the infection to the settings
We have stringent hygiene practices in place at all times and have increased the frequency of these to reduce risks
- No children, staff, Learners or visitors to enter the settings if they have symptoms of Coronavirus which are: a temperature (we generally class a high temperature as over 38 degrees so would feel hot to touch on the back or chest), a new and persistent cough (defined as a bout of coughing which lasts for one hour or three bouts within 24 hours), a loss or change to sense of taste or smell.
- If they have been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus or live in their household they must not enter the setting. See response to infection section below.
- Parents drop off and collect children from the door and do not enter the setting except in mitigating circumstances managed by the individual Managers. Settings will maintain regular contact with parents by telephone and the Blossom Parent App.
- Where possible we will spend as much time outdoors and if we are indoors will ensure there is a good source of ventilation at all times. Staff are mindful that droplets can be spread further when raising voices and singing so this is managed accordingly.
- Home visits are currently not being completed but we hope to return to these in the future.
- Children and staff wash their hands when entering a room, before and after eating and after using the toilet. Handwashing is promoted at all times as a positive activity.
- Children, staff and Learners are encouraged to use good respiratory hygiene by promoting ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach when coughing or sneezing.
- We have asked parents, staff and Learners to minimalize the amount of belongings they bring into the setting. We are using disposable wipes instead of flannels. Nappy changing is completed from the leg end.
- Staff have stringent cleaning guidelines in place to follow daily and all frequently used and touched areas such as door handles, light switches, telephones, key code locks, handrails etc are cleaned three times daily using antibacterial spray.
- Toys and resources are cleaned daily after each use and are not shared between groups of children until sanitised. Soft toys and resources such as cushions have been minimised and those that are hard to clean have been removed. Resources such as sand and dough are currently not being used with a group although children are having access to these on an individual basis.
- All carpets are cleaned weekly.
- Staff and children’s toilets and hand wash basins are cleaned after every use.
- Maintaining children, staff and Learners groups so they do not mix together. If staff have to move from one room to another, where possible we will ensure they have a two day break in between. Staff will not enter other rooms and ‘mix bubbles’ in case of isolation at a later date.
- Social distancing between adults and children is not possible, or desirable, but excessive physical contact is discouraged in a way that children understand.
- Staff, families and Learners are expected to follow changing guidance from the Government in respect of maintaining everyone’s safety.
- Staff maintain social distancing from their colleagues from other bubbles during their allocated break times and a limit of numbers of staff using communal areas at any one time.
- Appropriate PPE will be used as usual for nappy changing, mealtimes and dealing with any bodily fluids. If a child, staff member or Learner is being isolated on the Isolation room while they are waiting to be collected, we have additional PPE to be used by the person caring for them and a procedure to be followed.
- Manager will keep details of children, staff and Learners holidays within the holiday file to ensure they are complying with current travel guidance restrictions and quarantine restrictions on their return.
- The Early Years Teams are collecting weekly data on child attendance and Ofsted to manage the Coronavirus response nationwide and Manager will ensure this is collected and returned within the specified times as requested.
- Manager will keep detailed records if staff, children or Learners have to be based elsewhere within the settings, so we are able to track back contacts if required at a later date.
- Visitors to the settings will be shown around out of hours, either in the evenings or at weekends and the areas they have come into contact with will be thoroughly sanitised. We will keep records and contact details of all visitors.
- Unless absolutely essential any contractors will not be able to access the settings while children, staff and Learners are present. Deliveries will be received outside of the settings and wiped down with antibacterial spray before being brought inside. We are also including local authority staff under the same rule for contractors. We will encourage them to visit out of nursery opening hours unless they need to visit for the purpose of assessing any children.
- We have allowed tutors for the children to return as of September 2020 and they have a detailed risk assessment in place which they are required to follow at all times to minimise the risk of spreading infection..
- We have a temporary staff recruitment procedure in place.
Response to infection
If we have a child, staff member or Learner with a suspected case of Coronavirus we will put the following procedure into action.
- If the child, staff member or Learner is taken ill while at the setting they will be taken to the dedicated Isolation Room with a member of staff and their contact will be called to collect immediately.
- If someone is taken ill very suddenly and they require emergency attention 999 should be called as normal practice.
- The person accompanying will use the full PPE supplied in the Isolation Room which includes a mask, face shield, gloves and apron. This will be double bagged once no longer in use and labelled with the date and time of disposal and stored in the dedicated yellow bin for 71 hours and then disposed of though our usual channels. This will be replaced with a new set after use.
- After the ill person has left the Isolation Room will be thoroughly cleaned using bleach and resources restocked.
- A Coronavirus symptom form will be completed with all the details of symptoms etc and maintained in the file until we are informed of the outcome.
- If a child, staff member or Learner calls in absent because they have symptoms of Coronavirus, the Manger will complete a Coronavirus symptom form with all the required details and this will be stored in the file until we are informed of the outcome.
- Anyone displaying symptoms of Coronavirus are unable to return to the setting until they have either: a) received a negative Coronavirus test result b) isolated for 10 days and the symptoms have subsided. (A residual cough may remain for some time)
- If we have a confirmed positive case of Coronavirus identified within the nursery we will immediately contact the Public Health Helpline on 01133860300 and select option 1 for further advice. The advice service will work directly with us to manage the response and actions to take. Parents and Settings will be contacted accordingly.
- In some cases, the advice may be to isolate all children, staff or Learners who have come into direct contact with the positive case for 14 days and we will contact those people directly. Everyone else will be informed accordingly.
- Ofsted and the Early Years Team within the LA will be notified in accordance with guidance. If it is considered that the infection was contracted from the setting.
- If a child, staff member or Learner is contacted by the Test and Trace program they will be expected to isolate for 14 days in line with current guidance.
- If a child misses any nursery sessions due to having to isolate or for symptoms of Coronavirus, these will be banked and can be used at another time. This also applied to Learners if they miss a paid for course due to these reasons and we will place them on the same course at a later date without charge.