COVID – 19 Policy
The aim of this policy is to ensure the staff, children and families using West Wycombe Pre-school are able to use the facilities in a way which is safe and hygienic, minimising the risk of any potential COVID-19 spread of infection.
Arrival to Pre-school
All parking for pre-school must take place at the public car park on Chorley Road. Families are to ensure they follow social distancing guidance as much as is possible on their walk over to pre-school.
Parents are asked to please ensure they socially distance when waiting to send their child in to preschool. The driveway will remain clear each morning to ensure families have ample space. Children will be required to come into pre-school independently and say goodbye to parents outside to minimise the risk of infection. Children will be asked to carry their back pack into preschool and put this away independently whilst being supported by preschool teachers. Two boxes will be available in the buggy shelter for parents to place in lunch boxes and drinks bottles for their child. These boxes will then be bought in to preschool after drop off and placed back out in the buggy shelter at the end of each session.
Departure from Pre-school
We ask that all parents wait on the driveway at pick up time please. We will send children out to their parent’s one at a time, the same as we did before COVID. If parents need to speak with a staff member please do let us know and a staff member will come outside to the buggy shelter to speak with the parent privately whilst maintaining social distancing guidance. If you need to discuss something which is of a sensitive manner please use the telephone to call us at preschool. Parents are encouraged to only enter the setting if absolutely necessary to keep staff and children as safe as possible. If parents must enter the setting they will need to wear a facemask.
Government guidance for Cleaning in Non-Health Care Settings states that no additional personal protective equipment (PPE) is required unless a child becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms. Staff will continue with their high standards of care, using disposable gloves and aprons for nappy changing and toileting.
Children will be encouraged to wash hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds using fun hand washing songs. Hand washing will be encouraged often but as a minimum; before and after eating, after garden play, after playdough, sand and craft, after coughing and sneezing, before leaving the setting to go home.
Children will be encouraged to catch coughs and sneezes with tissues where possible. However we are realistic about the children’s capabilities as toddlers so we will teach children to cough into their elbow if a tissue is not available and to wash hands after catching a cough or sneeze and after blowing their nose.
Due to the danger posed by hand sanitiser if ingested we will only use hand sanitiser under strict adult supervision and ask that no child brings in their own hand sanitiser in their bag as all belongings are kept in the children’s rooms.
Pre-school will have lots of fun activities on offer for the children however good practice taken from the government guidance Implementing Protective Measures in Education and Childcare Settings will prohibit the use of some resources. Our amended practice is outlined below:
- Dressing up will be used and washed weekly.
- Self-selection toys in the rooms will be sprayed with antibacterial spray at the end of each day.
- Playdough will be made fresh for the week and discarded at the end of the week.
- Craft activities will continue as these resources are washed with hot soapy water after use as standard practice at pre-school.
- Garden equipment will be sprayed with antibacterial solution at the end of each day.
- All internal fixtures and fittings will be cleaned with antibacterial spray at the end of each day.
It is important for us that we retain high levels of parent partnership during our management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst we cannot allow parents into the setting for the safety of all we are more than happy to speak with our families either outside pre-school (whilst remaining socially distant) or through phone and email. Tapestry has been a wonderful resource for enabling us to talk with families on a regular basis. Please do continue to use Tapestry as a form of communication with your child’s key worker.
Settling In Sessions
Whilst the government guidance states parents must avoid entering the setting unless necessary for the welfare of the child we consider the initial bond that a child builds with us to be very important. Parents will be welcome to join us for the child’s settling in sessions however we will require the following measures to be followed to minimise the risk to others:
- We ask that one parent joins us for the settling in session please.
- Parents will be asked to wash hands or use hand sanitiser before touching anything within the setting.
- Parents will be asked to wear a face mask when inside the setting and social distance from staff as much as is possible.
- If the weather is good we will aim to have the majority of our settling in session outside in the fresh air.
Sick Child Policy
Pre-school’s Sick Child Policy remains during this time and children should not be coming to pre-school if they have had a temperature of more than 37.8C (100 degrees) within the last 24 hours or appear unwell. Children should not be coming to pre-school if they require medication to get through their day other than those with a detailed care plan and consent from the pre-school manager.
Following the government’s latest guidance for Implementing Protective Measures in Education and Childcare Settings any child displaying COVID-19 symptoms of a temperature above 37.8C (100 degrees) or a new persistent cough will need immediate collection.
A child displaying these symptoms will be cared for in a separate room from their peers by a staff member wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), including a face shield. Once the child has been collected all PPE will be removed and disposed of inside two sealed bags. These bags will be kept in storage for 72 hours before going into the pre-schools main waste bins.
Once collected from pre-school the child will be required to go for COVID-19 testing and remain in isolation until they receive their results. Results will need to be emailed or copied and sent in the child’s bag to pre-school to be kept on the child’s file. If the results come back negative the child will be able to return to pre-school if temperature free and well in themselves. Alternatively, children are required to isolate for 10 days from the start of their symptoms.
Confirmed Case of COVID at Preschool
Guidance taken from the government document Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers during the COVID 19 Outbreak:
Settings must take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Settings should contact the local health protection team. This team will also contact settings directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) attended the setting – as identified by NHS Test and Trace.
The local health protection team will work with settings to carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.
The local health protection team will work with settings in this situation to guide them through the actions they need to take. Based on the advice from the local health protection team, settings should send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 10 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. The exceptions to this rule are those under the age of 18 or those that have been fully vaccinated.
Close contact means:
- direct close contacts – face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin to skin)
- proximity contacts – extended close contact (within 1-2m for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
The local health protection team will provide definitive advice on who must be sent home. To support them in doing so, we recommend settings keep a record of children and staff. This should be a proportionate recording process. Settings do not need to ask staff to keep definitive records of contacts.
A template letter will be provided to settings, on the advice of the local health protection team, to send to parents, carers and staff if needed. Settings must not share the names or details of people with coronavirus (COVID-19) unless essential to protect others.
Household members of those who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the child or staff member who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms. If someone in a group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 10-day isolation period, they should follow COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. They should get a test, and:
- if the test delivers a negative result, they must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 10-day isolation period. This is because they could still develop the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the remaining days
- if the test result is positive, they should inform their setting immediately, and should isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Their household should self-isolate for at least 10 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms, following COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
If settings have two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, settings may have an outbreak, and must contact their local health protection team who will be able to advise if additional action is required.
Any confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the setting (either child or staff member), and/or if the setting is advised to close as a result, should be swiftly reported to Ofsted through the usual notification channels.
Staff Shortages at Preschool
During any period at preschool where staff are required to isolate and cannot work we will endeavour to stay open whenever we can. This may mean we have to operate using a smaller staff team than normal and will be required to prioritise which children can attend.
During this situation preschool will offer a place to all children of keyworker families first so these parents can continue to contribute to the essential services required for our community. Children requiring Special Educational Needs (SEN) support or being cared for under Child Protection will also be given a place.
Provided we have enough staff to offer additional spaces whilst maintaining ratios we will offer either a morning or afternoon session to the children due in on these days. These places will be allocated via email.
Full Closure of Preschool
Should preschool be required to fully close due to a shortage of staff who are isolating then all families will be emailed with a date of closure and when preschool will intend to open again.
Videos and activities will be emailed out to families to support children’s learning at home. Work sheets will be emailed out and left in a box out the front of preschool in a labelled box for any families who do not have access to a printer.
Walks around the Village
Preschool has now been given guidance that states we can resume walks around the local community. We will promote social distancing whilst out with the children and ensure they wash hands upon leaving and returning to preschool. Hand sanitiser will also be taken in the outings bag for children to use under strict adult supervision whilst out walking. Children will not be taken in to shops or libraries at this stage but we will enjoy the wonderful outdoors environment within our local village.
Visitors to Pre-school
Deliveries will be left at pre-school’s door and staff will not be required to sign for packages. After unpacking a delivery staff will be required to wash their hands for 20 seconds.
Professionals working with children will be able to advise staff on next steps and practice required over the telephone or via email. If a professional requires a visit to preschool to enable assessment of a child they will be required to wash their hands when they enter and exit the setting and they must wear a face mask when inside the building. Visitors contact details will be recorded upon signing in for our own track and trace service.
Any contractors who need to gain access to preschool for maintenance work will be required to complete the same measures. Work due to be completed outside of preschool will be permitted at any time of day. Work to be completed inside will be permitted when the children are not using the building unless the work is an emergency.
Snack and Lunch Times
Snack time will be reinstalled as a rolling snack time with children eating in small groups of 4 during 9:30am-11am in the preschool kitchen or Green Room (next to the kitchen).
To help minimise the risk of cross contamination fruit and vegetables will be pre-cut and staff will assist with the serving of food to the children.
Lunch boxes will be served in their usual way, with all children sitting at tables in either the Green or Blue Rooms upstairs.
All children will be required to wash their hands before and after eating
When children’s water bottles are empty staff will wash with hot soapy water and refill with fresh drinking water.
All other pre-school policies stay as before; however these are subject to change and regular review from the preschool teachers.
Policy Reviewed October 2021.