Safety Procedures at Thrive Childcare and Education
Nursery schools play an essential role in society, and we must make adaptations to the way we work to keep our children, parents, and team safe during this time. The fundamental principle of this guidance is to ensure distancing between identified groups and to implement enhanced hygiene practices.
The design of nurseries as relatively small communities with further subdivided rooms, greatly assists our ability to create physical distance between groups.
These Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) are based on Public Health England and Scotland, and the Department of Education guidance for nursery schools and their key workers.
Drop-Off and Collection of Children
To minimise traffic in the nursery, parents are asked to drop off and collect their children at the main entrance and not to enter the nursery unless necessary.
Parents waiting to drop off and collect are asked to maintain social distancing by always standing at least 2 meters apart. An identified team member will be responsible for arranging handovers with parents.
This may not be the usual Key Person for a child. To minimise physical interaction, only key information will be shared on handover. The team member and parents should maintain physical distancing as much as practically possible.
Temperature and Symptom Monitoring
Routine temperature testing is not advised as a reliable method for identifying coronavirus.
Parents and team members should follow the national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus:
– A new continuous cough and/or a high temperature
Travel to Nursery
Wherever possible team members and families should travel to the nursery alone, using their own transport or by foot or bicycle.
If it is necessary to share transport, journeys should be taken with the same individuals with the minimum number of people at one time. If public transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed. Face coverings are advised on public transport to help protect others.
Implementing Social Distancing
A level of physical interaction within nurseries is unavoidable. The key to reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission is to maintain small groups and minimise physical interaction between these groups.
Hygiene and Safety
Good hygiene and cleaning practices significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the coronavirus. Enhanced hygiene and cleaning practices are implemented, rigorously followed, and validated.
An enhanced cleaning schedule must be implemented. Communal areas, toilets, touchpoints, shared resources and handwashing facilities must be cleaned and sanitised regularly. A senior person must be responsible for validating and recording cleaning schedules.
The rate of handwashing must be significantly increased. All team must wash their hands with soap and water upon each arrival to the nursery and children should be encouraged to do the same. Adequate supplies of soap and paper towels are provided at identified handwash stations. Hand sanitizer should only be used in areas where handwashing facilities with soap, water and paper towels cannot be provided. Hand sanitizer is not required after handwashing with soap and water. A hand sanitizer station will be provided for visitors to use.
Attending More Than One Setting
Many children attend more than one Early Years setting. If your child will be attending more than one setting, please speak to the Nursery Manager so they can make the appropriate contacts to work together and share information with your permission.
Safer Play Groups at Thrive Nurseries
A way of grouping children at our nursery, keeping children and staff safe during the time of coronavirus, is by organising them into small groups and coordinating their routines, movements, and their use of resources throughout the day. Where possible, we will endeavour to minimise the disruption to our children’s usual routines and will try to group those who would usually be in the same playroom/age group and are already known to each other, together. This is known as a ‘safer play group’.
- Reduce risk of transmission in children and adults
- Effectively manage instances of COVID-19 in the nursery. If a person tests positive for the virus, only the children and adults in the safer play group will be asked to self-isolate and seek tests where possible
- Reassure parents as to the control measures we are using within the setting
- Reassure staff that their health & wellbeing is being planned for daily
- Provides organisation and clear responsibility for staff in guiding and supporting children
Risk assessment for COVID-19 will focus on the questions that need to be asked so that we can create the most effective methodology
Every nursery must go through a risk assessment exercise before we can welcome children and staff in the premises
Before we complete the risk assessment in the nursery, we must ask who is doing what, how, where and why are they doing it, and what they will be using? Understanding the tasks and activities we plan is a vital component to assessing risk exposure and allows us to qualify any subsequent control decisions.
We ask a lot of questions while assessing our nurseries: How can we maintain social distancing? Can we use alternative rooms to spread staff and children out? Where are our staff and children more likely to find it difficult to avoid one another: such as the toilets, staff rooms, office, etc? Can we phase break times? Can we place additional sanitising units in areas where most people commonly touch, such as handrails, doors, doors entry systems, keypads, iPads, phones, desks, kitchen equipment, etc?
Cleaning is a vital control and must be high on your priorities: Have we considered how we keep commonly touched surfaces sterile and how more frequently do they need to be cleaned? Have we updated the cleaning schedule to ensure all areas are being frequently and thoroughly cleaned? Are we using an effective strength of cleaner to kill the virus? Such as Selgiene Ultra.Read More