We continue to monitor the situation closely and ask that all families always follow the official advice. If you have any questions in addition to the information provided here, please speak to a member of staff at pre-school.
Scientific evidence that suggests:
• Children of all ages have less severe symptoms than adults if they contract Coronavirus
• younger children are less likely to become unwell if infected with Coronavirus
• Limiting the number of children returning reduces the size of groups meeting each other.
• There is also evidence of detrimental impact, time away from education can have on children.
Approaches between countries will vary slightly depending on their public health circumstances.
All eligible children are entitled and encouraged to attend – it is not necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home. In addition, and in line with existing guidance, vulnerable children are expected and encouraged to attend where it is appropriate for them to do so.
In light of the removal of bubbles from 20 July, we continue to keep risk assessments for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) up-to-date and look to welcome back more children with SEND in accordance with the SEND risk assessment guidance. Their return will be informed by a personalised risk assessment, to help us ensure that the right support is in place.
Staff and children are eligible for testing if they become ill with coronavirus symptoms, as are members of their household. Please see the attached Symptoms and Testing flow-chart at the bottom of this page, for more information.
The following principles apply to attendance at pre-school:
• Staff and children should not attend if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.
• Staff, children, and their families are expected to follow official advice regarding reducing spread and staying safe. Failure to do so, may result in staff or children being refused entry to pre-school
• Protective measures will be put in place for staff and children, as far as it is possible, to ensure that the risk of transmission is reduced.
A risk assessment directly addressing the risks associated with Coronavirus has been completed to assess the controls needed to protect staff and children. Our risk assessment addresses the safe care of our group of children, consistency in staffing arrangements and the statutory requirements laid out in the EYFS.
It is recognised that our early years children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other or staff. The following set of actions early years settings must take are outlined in more detail below:
Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend settings
If anyone in the setting has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19): a high temperature, new and persistent cough or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), however mild, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days from when their symptoms started; or if they are not experiencing symptoms, but have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), they should self-isolate for at least 10 days starting from the day the test was taken. Please refer to the flow-chart at the bottom of this page for more information.
If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to an area where they can be isolated with appropriate adult supervision. Ideally, a window will be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate, they will be moved to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will be taken to a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom will be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
PPE (apron, face shield, disposable mask, and gloves) must be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection.
As is usual practice, in an emergency, we will call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.
Any members of staff who have helped someone with symptoms and any children who have been in close contact with them does not need to go home to self-isolate.
Everyone must wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and running water or use hand sanitiser after any contact with someone who is unwell.
The area around the person with symptoms must be cleaned with normal household disinfectant after they have left to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
We will not be taking the temperature of children on entry to the setting as this is an unreliable method for identifying coronavirus (COVID-19).
Where recommended, use of face coverings
The government is not recommending universal use of face coverings in early years education and care settings because the system of controls, applicable to all education and childcare environments, provides additional mitigating measures. PHE advises that for health and safety reasons, face masks should not be used for children under three. In addition, misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission and there may also be negative effects on communication and thus children’s development.
When social distancing is difficult to maintain in communal areas
In situations where social distancing between adults in settings is not possible (e.g. when moving around in corridors and communal areas), we recommend the use of face coverings for adults on site, both staff and visitors.
We ask that parents and carers use face coverings whilst dropping off and collecting children from pre-school as social distancing can be difficult to maintain at these busy times.
We recognise that some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings and these same exemptions apply at Purley Pre-School.
Due to the wide availability of face coverings it is reasonable to assume that staff and visitors will provide their own face coverings. However, we do have a small contingency supply available when necessary.
When working with children
Based on current evidence and the measures that Purley Pre School are already putting in place, face coverings are not necessary when staff are interacting with children, even where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings may have a negative impact on interactions between staff and children, and their use when interacting with children should be avoided.
Safe removal and disposal of face coverings
Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be used and the face covering should be replaced carefully.
Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
We will ensure that children clean their hands regularly, including:
• when they arrive at the setting
• before and after eating
• when coming in from outdoors
• after toileting
Regular and thorough hand cleaning is needed for the foreseeable future.
Points to consider and implement:
• We will ensure enough hand washing or hand sanitiser ‘stations’ are available so that all children and staff can clean their hands regularly
• We will supervise use of hand sanitiser use, given risks around ingestion. Small children and those with complex needs should continue to be helped to clean their hands properly. Skin friendly, cleaning wipes can be used as an alternative
• We will continue to build these routines into setting culture, and ensure younger children and those with complex needs understand the need to follow them
• Any visitors on site are asked to wash hand or use hand gel on arrival and following the safe removal of any face coverings that may be used.
Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be important. We will ensure we have enough tissues and bins available to support children and staff to implement this routine. As with hand cleaning, we will ensure younger children are helped to get this right, and all children understand that this is now part of how the setting operates.
PHE advises against the use of face masks for children under three. In addition, misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission and there may also be negative effects on communication and thus children’s development.
Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
To facilitate cleaning, we shall remove unnecessary items from our learning environment where there is space to store resources elsewhere. Where practicable we will remove soft furnishings, for example cushions and rugs.
In line with our risk assessment and timetabling of the day, a cleaning schedule is in place that ensures cleaning is generally enhanced and includes more frequent cleaning of rooms and frequently touched surfaces. We also have in place clear procedures for maintaining cleaning processes for food preparation areas, dining areas and table coverings.
Toilets will be cleaned regularly, and children will be encouraged to clean their hands thoroughly after using the toilet.
Areas to be cleaned with normal household disinfectant after use. This will reduce the risk of passing on any infection.
Disposable gloves and aprons to be worn for cleaning, bagged, and disposed of.
Disposable cloths to be used for cleaning surfaces with soapy water. Surfaces should then be disinfected.
Particular attention to be given to high-touch areas such as backs of chairs, light switches, taps, door handles, grab-rails.
If an area has been heavily contaminated FROM A PERSON WITH CORONAVIRUS use protection for eyes, mouth, and nose in addition to wearing an apron and gloves
Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds and after removing gloves and aprons and other protection used while cleaning
Only disposable cleaning cloths and paper roll should be used to clean all hard surfaces.
Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning
Items that cannot be cleaning using detergents or laundered (for instance, our sofa) will be sprayed with an anti-bacterial spray at the end of each day..
Any items heavily contaminated with bodily fluids that cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.
Staff uniforms should be bagged up and taken home at the end of the session.
Items should be washed in accordance with manufacturing instructions. Do not shake dirty laundry. Wash and dry completely. Anything used to carry uniform home should also be cleaned and disinfected in line with the cleaning guidance above.
Rubbish and waste from cleaning and usual day to day activities should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
Waste should be stored away from children
Minimise contact between groups where possible
From July 2020 we have returned to our normal group size since the overall risk to children from coronavirus (COVID-19) remains low following the most recent government guidance. Early years settings are typically smaller than schools however we encourage parents and carers to limit the number of settings their child attends, ideally a child should only attend one setting consistently. This is the same for staff.
We ask that parents follow the additional precautions to minimise contact:
• Respect social distancing whilst waiting for pre-school to open and following the one-way system painted on the pavement.
• We respectfully ask that parents/carers use face coverings whilst dropping off and collecting their children from Pre-School.
• Only one parent/carer to drop off or collect children from pre-school
• Children to be dropped off one at a time. Please wait for the parent/carer in front to leave the premises before entering. We understand this may be difficult when you have work commitments.
We reserve the right to refuse a child at pre school if we have good reason to suspect, or, have knowledge that parents/carers have breached government guidance with regard to social distancing and group gatherings.
Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE is only needed in a small number of cases, including:
• where an individual child becomes ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms while at a setting, and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained
• where a child already has routine intimate care needs that involves the use of PPE, in which case the same PPE should continue to be used
Response to any infection
Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process
Please see the flow chart at the bottom of this page.
Staff members and parents/carers will need to be ready and willing to:
• book a test if they are displaying symptoms. Staff and children must not come into the setting if they have symptoms and must be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in the setting. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children under 11 will need to be helped by their parents or carers if using a home testing kit
• provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
• self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to internet. Essential workers, which includes anyone involved in education or childcare, have priority access to testing.
The government will ensure that it is as easy as possible to get a test through a wide range of routes that are locally accessible, fast, and convenient. We will release more details on new testing avenues as and when they become available and we will work with early years settings, so they understand the easiest route to get a test.
Parents, carers, and staff must inform us immediately of the results of the test:
If someone tests negative, and they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can also stop self-isolating
If someone tests positive, they should follow COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection and should continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to pre school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The at least 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.
Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the setting community
When we become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) we will 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.
It is possible that in the event of a positive test of a staff member or child at pre-school, all staff and children will need to self-isolate for 14 days however, the local health protection team will provide definitive advice on who must be sent home. To support them in doing so, we may need to share our register of attendance.
The local health protection team will provide a template letter to send to parents, carers and staff if needed. We will 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 14-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 14-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 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms, following COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
• Settings should not request evidence of negative test results or other medical evidence before admitting children or welcoming them back after a period of self-isolation
Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice
If we have two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, we will contact their local health protection team who will be able to advise if additional action is required. In some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of other children self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.
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, will be reported to Ofsted through the usual notification channels.
Visitors and non-staff members attending Pre School
Wherever possible we will avoid visitors entering their premises.
In instances where we may need to use other professionals such as social workers, speech and language therapists or counsellors, or professionals to support delivery of a child’s EHC plan, we will assess whether the professionals need to attend in person or can do so virtually. If they need to attend in person, they are expected to follow the protective measures, policies, and procedures we have in place and the number of attendances should be kept to a minimum. Where possible to do so, social distancing will be maintained and visitors will be asked to wear face coverings in high traffic areas.
On site guidance on social distancing and hygiene is explained to visitors on or before arrival. Where visits can happen outside of setting hours, a record should be kept of all visitors where this is practical.
Where possible, the presence of any additional members of staff will be agreed on a weekly basis, rather than a daily basis to limit contacts.
External providers for extra-curricular activities, which are not directly required for children’s health and wellbeing, are suspended for the time being.
Parents and carers are not be allowed into the setting unless this is essential, and children should be dropped off and collected at the gate if possible.
Prospective parents and carers wishing to visit the setting for future admissions can do so by virtual tour or by arranging an “out of hours” visit.
Process in the event of local outbreak
If our local area sees a spike in infection rates that results in localised community spread, Purley Pre School will follow any measures and health advice implemented to help contain the spread. We will inform parents and carers as soon as we are able to, of any impact this may have on our ability to deliver sessional care.
We continue to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. We will continue to deliver the learning and development requirements of the EYFS predominately using the pre school garden.
• helping young children to adapt to new routines
• supporting children to settle back into the setting, especially where there have been staffing changes.
• Continuing to support their early language and communication skills.
• Children who have had limited opportunities for exercise should be encouraged to exert themselves physically.
Music, dance and drama
Spontaneous singing, dance and role-play that young children may naturally do, continues to be encouraged. Music, dance and drama build confidence, help children live happier, more enriched lives, and discover ways to express themselves. There may, however, be a cumulative risk of infection in environments where organised singing, chanting, playing wind instruments, dance and drama takes place. We have however, removed the use of musical instruments during our group times to limit the risk of cross contamination from the sharing of instruments.
Families must notify pre-school if their child is unable to attend so that we can explore the reason and address barriers together.
All children who normally attend pre-school are strongly encouraged to attend so that they can gain the learning and wellbeing benefits of early education.
Much more is known about coronavirus (COVID-19), so in the future there will be far fewer children advised to shield if community transmission rates become high and most children will be able to return to settings.
A small number of children may still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of children who will remain on the shielded patient list can return to settings, as can those who have family members who are shielding. The current shielding advice is available at Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19
If rates of disease rise in our local area, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore may be temporarily absent (see below)
Some children no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to the settings, usually at their next planned clinical appointment. You can find more in Shielding guidance for children and young people from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
We are mindful that some parents and carers may be anxious about sending their child back to childcare. You are welcome to discuss with us, the measures being taken to ensure the safety of your children.
We will ensure communications are accessible to all groups of parents and carers (such as those with English as an additional language) and parents and carers of vulnerable children, to encourage attendance of these groups.
Families must notify pre-school if their child is unable to attend due to displaying symptoms of Coronavirus
The DfE will continue to monitor attendance at early years settings via local authorities.
Forest School and outdoor provision
The Government guidance encourages the use of private outdoor space and we will take small groups of children on trips to outdoor public places such as Forest School and do not need to be limited to 6 people, for the following reasons:
• it is for the purpose of education or childcare
• we remain within the EYFS staff child ratios
• we have a full and comprehensive risk assessment
• good hygiene is maintained throughout
• thorough handwashing happens before and after the trip
Large group outings are suspended until further notice.
Staying in touch with parents or carers whose child is at home
We will support parents and carers whose child is at home in providing a positive learning environment.
We will continue to liaise with the local authority to monitor the welfare of vulnerable children who are not attending provision, and other children we might wish to keep in touch with, for safeguarding purposes.
Children’s mental health and wellbeing
Staying at home for a prolonged period and the change of routine may have caused difficulties for some children, such as changes in behaviour or mood.
We will consider the mental health, pastoral or wider wellbeing support children may need, including with bereavement, and how to support them to transition into the setting after a long period of absence.
We will refer to the following advice as a starting point: Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the first instance we may contact our local authority to understand what support, agencies and providers are available.
We will consider how we will continue to meet the needs of vulnerable children.
Staff-wellbeing and workloads
The Management team and committee remain conscious of the wellbeing of all staff, including the management team and committee members themselves. We endeavour to implement flexible working practices in a way that promotes a good work-life balance and supports all staff.
Parents and staff are encouraged to walk, cycle, or drive where possible and to avoid using public transport.
Costs associated with opening for more children
The DfE guidance “Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020” confirms that early years settings will continue to be paid by local authorities for provision of free entitlement. Where parents access hours beyond the free entitlement they are eligible for, we shall continue to charge parents in the normal way.
Daily Procedure and changes to usual routines
• All resources will be rotated regularly for cleaning and disinfecting with greater consideration given to:
o Play-dough (replaced for each session)
o Indoor sand tray (rinsed with Milton at the end of the day)
o Dressing up (rotated regularly for regular washing)
o Soft toys (rotated regularly for regular disinfecting and washing)
o Water play (changed at the end of each session)
• Surfaces and resources will be wiped down using warm soapy water or anti-bacterial spray, dilute bleach etc and following the cleaning and protective measures highlighted above.
• Children will have snack prepared for them, but this will no longer be self-service.
• As much play as possible to be hosted outside
• Parents/carers must have arrangements in place to collect children promptly should they begin to show symptoms during a pre school session.
• Parents must inform us if a child has attended another setting where there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19
• Nappy changing to be carried out in the hallway or outdoors if play is in the garden as these are better ventilated areas. Nappy changing to be carried out “side on” as we do now and with the addition of PPE as detailed below.
• Additional cleaning in operation throughout the session.
• Staff will arrive in uniform for the session/day. Staff to bring a spare t-shirt or top to change in to in case of a suspected case of Covid-19.
• Staff will follow guidance on increased handwashing as soon as possible after any interaction with children or surfaces
• The school caretaker will complete an additional cleaning routine of “high touch” areas during the day.
• Manager or Deputy to contact parents if children do not arrive for a pre-planned session.
• Pre School staff are expected to adhere to the government advice regarding social distancing and will not be allowed on site should the management team have reason to suspect this has not been followed without good reason.
• Manager/Deputy to contact parents/carers to arrange collection if children become unwell during pre school.
• As per existing contracts of employment staff MUST inform one of the management team as soon as possible if they are unable to fulfil their contracted session.
We will always of course continue to follow government guidance. As this is continually changing, we may need to update you with those changes.
We thank you for your continuing support and for your patience as we continue to adapt our working practices to ensure the safety of your children and our staff.