Following Government Guidance on the 11th May 2020, childcare settings will be asked to welcome back all children below statutory school age from the week commencing 1st June 2020, if all 5 tests are met. The numbers of children cared for will be in line with the numbers of children that we can provide care for.
Some of the practice needed to keep the children and our families safe are slightly different to my previous practice. I am aware of the need to keep the children safe as well the need to be mindful of the children’s emotional well-being in any changes that they are experiencing. It is my practice to ensure the children feel safe and have fun in nurturing and loving environment, encouraging the children to share, providing a stimulating and fun environment. Some of the guidance encourages the children not to share and where possible avoid close contact
Whilst the safety measure is to protect the children’s health and those they meet, I will ensure the children’s emotional well-being also remains paramount too. Young children need to feel emotionally and physically connected, which is important for children’s personal, social, and emotional development and overall holistic well-being.
Where the physical layout does not allow small groups of children to be kept at a safe distance apart, I will ensure the highest standards of safety are maintained. In some cases, it may be necessary to introduce a temporary cap on numbers to ensure that safety is prioritised. If weather permits, we will spend more time outdoors.
It is accepted that unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and myself. In deciding to bring children in my home, I will be taking this into account.
- avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
- frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
- regular cleaning
- Minimising contact and mixing groups of children, including avoiding multiple care/education settings.
It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and this is achieved by reducing the transmission risk by ensuring children and adults where possible, only mix in a small, consistent group and that the small group stay away from other people and groups.
Currently Brian and I are following the guidelines with limited outside contact with others. I understand that families will need to follow the same government guidance and at this time families including children will have limited contact with others, therefore reducing the risk of coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus and then bringing the virus into my home.
Public Health England (PHE) are clear that if early years settings, schools and colleges do this, and crucially if they are also applying regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handling potential cases of the virus as per the advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered.
Wearing a face covering or face mask in childcare settings is not recommended. PPE such as gloves and an apron will be used as usual practice when changing young children or when a child has become unwell. If it is suspected that a child has corona virus a face covering/mask will be used as guidance states.
It your child becomes unwell whilst with me you will be contacted immediately and expected to collect your child as soon as practicably possible. Your child will be comforted and kept away from the other children as far as possible. I will follow the government’s guidance on safe disposal and cleaning. If your child is displaying possible symptoms of the virus, and they are tested positive you will need to follow the government’s guidelines on isolation. If the test is negative, then you will be able to return to settings. Proof will be needed to confirm this is the case.
Anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus are not to visit my home. If you or your family are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus, please follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. Considering COVID-19, I will be asking parents/carers to provide regular updates on the health of their family/household to protect others that are using my service and my own family. I will share updates about my own family’s health.
It has always been my usual practice to still welcome children if they are slightly under the weather, and they are happy to join in our activities, (excluding Diarrhoea and vomiting and contagious illnesses). However, I respectfully ask currently not to send children if you know they are unwell or for you to enter my setting if you are feeling unwell.
My reason for this is that I need to make it safe for children returning to my home and safe for all families including my own family.
If either Brain and I become unwell I will follow the same government guidelines and notify you as soon as possible. I will request testing to enable children to return to my setting if the results are negative.
Parents are to drop-off and pick-up at different intervals. If you see a parent’s car outside my home, then you are respectfully asked to wait in your car until that parent has left. You can phone me to advise me that you are outside then I can prepare your child for leaving and to assist you.
Only one adult should accompany their child.
You are respectfully asked not to gather at entrance gates or doors or enter my home. The entrance will remain the same via the front door. The children should leave you/meet you at the door keeping handovers brief. Should I need to pass on any detailed information I will contact you once you are home at a convenient time to you, this can be via email or phone call. As always, I will try to put as much information in daily journals.
Parents/carers are asked to only bring items with their child that they absolutely need whilst with me and in a bag that can be wiped over.
Parents will need to notify of any change in emergency contact details.
There are education resources to refer to such as e-bug and PHE schools’ resources to support parents and children to prepare for good practice/steps and returning to childcare settings.
In considering how to keep small groups of children together throughout the day and to avoid larger groups of children mixing, we will not be meeting with other childminders and our friends until we are advised we can do so.
Any food containers brought into the house will be wiped with antibacterial wipes and stored in line with Government guidance.
I will also provide children with clean and age-appropriate crockery and eating utensils. In light of COVID-19 and the risk of infection I will ensure children’s plates, cutlery and cups are not shared and are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
The toys which the children have played with and any equipment used will be appropriately cleaned between children using it.
Soft toys and toys that are hard to clean (such as those with intricate parts) will be stored away where possible, any soft furnishing that are needed will be cleaned after it has been used, if not needed soft furnishing will be stored away.
There will be thorough cleaning at the end of the day.
Surfaces that have been touched such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, will be cleaned more regularly than normal.
Where a sink is not nearby, hand sanitiser will be made available. If you wish the children to have their own sanitiser, I will put their name on it and make it accessible to them when needed.
We will frequently wash our hands with liquid soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly, such as cleaning hands on arrival, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing. Although the children have their own towels which are washed daily, they will be encouraged to use paper tissues to dry their hands and place them into the bin.
Help will be given for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently.
Whilst we are washing our hands more, I ask parents to send a form of hand moisturiser for their child, which I can supervise application or assist with when needed. Children hands can become very sore with constant washing and use of hand sanitiser.
It is important that the children are aware of good hand washing practises when returning to encourage consistency across home and childcare settings.
The younger children have always been encouraged to learn and practise good hand washing habits through singing and using a timer and repetition this will continue.
The children will be encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
Children will be encouraged to use a tissue or elbow (if the tissue is not to hand), to cough or sneeze into and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’). Tissues will be readily available. Parents are asked to reinforce the safe hygiene practices of hand washing and use of tissues or elbows when coughing or sneezing.
Bins are available for tissues are emptied throughout the day
Where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows).
Doors will be open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation
It is important for children to access the outdoors, until we can resume going on our special days out we will play in the garden and go for local woodland walks adhering to government guidance, keeping our two meter distance from other people, where this cannot be done safely we will not venture.
Outdoor equipment will be appropriately cleaned after children using it.
I will check my home and outside space every morning before the children arrive to ensure that it is a safe environment for the children to play in. Considering COVID-19 I will do so in line with Government guidance.
I will not be using public transport until it is safe to do so.
As things change and the strategies are put into place by the government to control and eventually eliminate the virus, I will keep you informed of the changes and adjustments I also make within the setting to compliment and comply with those changes