Learning Curve Nursery Group Safe Operating Procedures
Following the latest Government Guidelines, and guidelines from Public Health England and the Department of Education, we have developed these procedures to ensure that we provide a safe environment for both children and staff.Social distancing and good hygiene practices remain key factors of infection prevention of Covid-19. We have adapted our everyday practices to promote social distancing and have implemented additional measures to our already thorough cleaning routines to promote these elements.
Key elements of our Safe Operating Procedures are:
- Isolation – Any child, parent/carer, family member or staff member who displays symptoms of Covid-19 must isolate at home and follow the Test and Trace System.
- Social Distancing – Staff and children will social distance wherever possible.
- Cleaning – Increased cleaning practices have been implemented throughout each day.
- Daily Procedures – New procedures, including drop off and pick up procures have been implemented.
- Bubble System – Children and staff will be placed in ‘Bubbles’ to reduce contact and to ensure continuity.
- Visitors – No parents/carers will be permitted to enter the setting. All non-essential visitors to the settings will be not be permitted.
- Frequent handwashing – Children and staff will frequently wash their hands throughout the day, and always before and after meal times, intimate care routines, and nose wiping.
It is highly important that parents, carers, families, and staff remain vigilant, and ensure that isolation is observed if any symptoms are displayed. Medical advice must be sought if you are unsure.
All children are welcome to attend the settings providing that they or anyone in their household or ‘support bubble’ are not displaying symptoms of Covid-19. Symptoms include:
- A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If a child has displayed any symptoms they will not be permitted to return to nursery until they are symptom free and the required isolation has been adhered to, or a Negative test result has been received (proof of this must be provided).
If a member of a child’s household or ‘support bubble’ displays symptoms, the child will be able to return to nursery until the required isolation of 14 days has been completed or a negative test result has been received.
If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted by the Test and Trace programme, the contacted individual must self-isolate. If the contacted individual displays symptoms, everyone is their support bubble must self-isolate.
Children will not be permitted to attend two settings, for example, a school nursery and a Learning Curve nursery. This is to minimise the crossover of children between settings, reducing the risk within the settings.
All payments are to be made via either bank transfer or card payment via phone. We will not be able to accept cash or face-to-face card payment. We will continue to accept Childcare Vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare Payments.
Group Size and Bubbles
All children and staff will be split into Bubbles. Children and staff will remain in the same bubbles each time they attend the setting. Children and staff will not enter another bubble at any time.
Bubbles will not mix, for example, will not use nursery rooms or garden areas at the same time. Equipment such as garden play equipment will be cleaned with antibacterial cleaner after the use of each bubble.
We aim to keep bubble sizes as small as possible using the available space and practitioners.
Additional staff such as the Nursery Chef, Cleaner, and members of the Management Team will wherever possible not enter any bubble with children and other practitioners.
Drop Off and Collection
At drop off and collection times parents/carers will not be permitted to enter the setting.
At drop off you will be greeted by a member of your child’s bubble at either the nursery door or gate into the nursery garden. They will ask for basic information on your child. Any further or detailed information may be passed on via phone, email, or Tapestry.
At pick up parents/carers will be asked to wait at either the nursery door or gate, where you child will be brought to you by a member of their bubble. Short feedback will be given about your child’s day. Again, any further information will be passed onto you via phone, email or Tapestry.
Whilst waiting to drop off or collect we ask that all parents adhere to social distancing. Please ensure that you arrive early as there may need to wait.
If anyone different, such as another member of your support bubble is dropping off or picking up your child, please ensure that they are aware of our new procedures. We ask, where possible for the same people to drop off/collect your child.
On arrival to nursery all children with have their hands and shoes sanitised. Children who are too young to appropriately use hand sanitiser will have their hands wiped with a clean cloth.
Each of our nursery rooms and nursery gardens has been looked at individually, with the placement and layout of toys, tables and play mats considered to ensure social distancing where possible.
Toys and soft furnishings which are harder to clean, such as additional cushions, soft toys, and fabric books, have been removed from all rooms. Toys such as finger puppets and dressing up clothes which go over the children’s head have also been removed.
Sand play, water play, and other malleable activities will not be carried out. Activities such as painting where paint brushed can be washed between uses will continue as normal.
Toys in the rooms will be rotated allowing for all equipment to be cleaned regularly.
Our gardens will be utilised as much as possible ensuring the children get fresh air, and allowing the ‘bubbles’ to split into smaller groups, providing further space for social distancing.
We have looked carefully at the layout and positioning of furniture within our nursery rooms to ensure that as much as possible children can remain socially distanced during mealtimes.
Where appropriate we have implemented second sittings at mealtimes, to promote social distancing and lower numbers within the rooms.
Children will continue to wash their hands before and after each meal. Children who are too young to wash their own hands, will have their hands and faces wiped with a clean face cloth.
Children will not self-serve their meal.
Practitioners will wear gloves and aprons when serving all meals.
The nursery chef will not enter each nursery room when delivering meals and collecting used items after meals.
Cot rooms – we have looked closely at our cot rooms to ensure that whilst sleeping children are as socially distanced as possible. Cots have been repositioned and other removed or taken out of use to ensure this.
Bed Mats – Bed Mats will be positioned to adhere to social distancing as much as possible. We have looked at each space individually to ensure that this is done in the best possible way and to ensure maximum space is left between children.
We ask that the parents/carers of all children who sleep during the day take their child’s bedding home to be washed as much as possible. This must be done at least once a week.
Items from Home
Where possible we ask that children’s nursery bags are left at nursery each night to reduce the items going into nursery each day. If we require something in your child’s bag to be replaced, such as spare clothes, we will send this item home.
Where possible please leave a nursery cup/bottle/soother that can live at nursery. We will ensure these are sterilised after each use.
Other than necessary comforters, we ask that children do not bring toys or items in from home.
Where possible we ask that children’s wellies and indoor shoes to remain at nursery each night.
All non-essential visitors will not be permitted to enter the setting. Only essential maintenance workers will be granted access.
Classes which are taught by visitors to the setting such as football and aerobics, will not take place until further notice.
Any families wishing to look around the setting with a view to starting at the nursery will be required to book in for a suitable time with the Nursery Manager. Only one adult will be permitted to attend. Look arounds will be asked to sanitise their shoes and wear shoe covers on arrival. They will not be permitted to enter any of the nursery rooms. The nursery manager will social distance from them throughout the look around.
Settling in sessions will where possible take place social distanced. For the first settling in sessions we will ensure that a staff member from what will be the child’s bubble carries out the session.
We will not be carrying out home visits at children’s homes. If appropriate we may carry out a home visit via Zoom.
Health and Safety
Hand washing and Nose Wiping – Both children and staff will wash their hands frequently through the day. Children will be encouraged to sing our handwashing song, to ensure that their hands are fully washed for the required length of time. Where appropriate children will be encouraged to wipe their own noses, put the tissue straight in the bin straight away and then either wash or sanitise their hands. Where children are not able to wipe their own noses, staff will assist them, washing or sanitising their hands each time.
- Ventilation – We will ensure that there is adequate ventilation in all nursery rooms, allowing fresh air to access the rooms, and for their to be a change of air within the rooms.
- PPE – We have researched and investigated the available PPE equipment on offer and have ensured that we have the most suitable. We have updated the type of gloves and aprons that are worn for nappy changes, mealtimes, and intimate care routines, and have trialled these to ensure that they are suitable for purpose.
- Sanitation – Hand sanitiser dispensers and shoe sanitation equipment have been positioned at all entrances to the settings.
- Cleaning – Modified and extended cleaning routines have been implemented throughout the nurseries, including in the nursery rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and communal areas such as stairs and corridors. Cleaning charts record these measures daily.
- Temperature Monitoring – following government guidance, children and staff will not have their temperature tested on arrival to nursery each day. Guidelines inform us that a more effective method is to feel the chest and back. If we suspect that a child or staff member has a fever, their temperature will then be taken and monitored. All settings have new infrared thermometers to ensure accurate readings.
- Medication – Only prescribed medication and essential teething remedies, such as teething powders may be administered at nursery. Any doses of prescribed medication or teething medicine which can be given at home, must be. We will not be able to administer Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. This is due to the concern of it covering any potential symptoms.
- Isolation Room – each setting has a designated Isolation Room. If a child displays symptoms, they will wait in the isolation rooms with a familiar practitioner until they are collected from nursery. Following use the isolation room will be fully cleaned and sanitised.
Staff members will be social distancing wherever possible. Out staff rooms and staff areas have been looked at and furniture rearranged to ensure maximum space between practitioners at all times.
Staff will wear clean uniform each day. Staff who travel to and from nursery on public transport will change their clothes on arrival and departure at nursery. Staff will wash their hands thoroughly before entering the nursery rooms when they arrive and at the end of their breaks.
All staff members have attended the setting in which they work to complete full training. This included training on the new policies and procedures that we have implemented, new daily routines such as drop off and pick up, health and safety and cleaning routines, and allowed us to answer any questions that they had.
We understand that this has been a worrying time for all and want to reassure you that we are working hard to ensure a safe environment for your children. We aim to work in partnership with our families when implementing these new procedures. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any thoughts or questions.
All new policies and procedures will be constantly reviewed and updated accordingly, taking the latest government and council advice and guidelines into account.
Last Updated 12/06/20.