Covid-19 Safe Operating Procedures

Introduction 

In these exceptional circumstances we must all comply with the latest Scottish Government Guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Nursery schools play an essential role in society and we must make adaptations to the way we work to keep our children, parents, and staff safe during this time. The fundamental principle of this guidance is to ensure distancing between adults and to implement enhanced hygiene practices. 

Attendance 

Children and staff who are not displaying coronavirus symptoms are welcome to attend the nursery. Anyone who has experienced coronavirus symptoms must have completed the required isolation period and be symptom free, not be living with someone who is displaying the symptoms or achieve a negative test result before returning to the nursery. If a member of a household is unwell or isolating, all members of the household must isolate for the required period. 

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 standing at least 2 meters apart at all times and observing the floor marking at the entrance to the nursery.

To minimise physical interaction, only key information will be shared on handover. The staff member and parents should maintain 2 metres physical distancing at all times. 

Travel to nursery 

Wherever possible staff 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 mandatory on public transport to help protect others. 

Snack and mealtimes

Hand washing must take place before snack and lunch. Meals and snacks should be served individually to children. We will not be serving hot lunch till restrictions have lifted therefore each child staying for lunch should bring a packed lunch (Nut Free) from home. All cups and plates will be washed on high in the dishwasher.

Hygiene & Safety 

Good hygiene and cleaning practices significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the coronavirus. Enhanced hygiene and cleaning practices must be implemented, rigorously followed, and validated. 

Cleaning 

An enhanced cleaning schedule must be implemented. Communal areas, toilets, touch points, shared resources and hand washing facilities must be cleaned and sanitised regularly. A senior person must be responsible for validating and recording cleaning schedules. 

Hand washing 

All staff must wash their hands with soap and water upon each arrival to the nursery, and between each new activity, and children should be encouraged to do the same. Adequate supplies of soap and paper towels are provided at identified handwashing stations. Hand sanitizer should only be used in areas where hand washing facilities with soap, water and paper towels cannot be provided. Hand sanitizer is not required after hand washing with soap and water. A hand sanitizer station will be provided for visitors to use. 

Uniform 

Uniforms/personal clothing worn at nursery should be washed more regularly, ideally after each use. Washing uniforms with detergent in a normal wash is effective at reducing the risk of transmission. If a team member has come into contact with a person presenting coronavirus symptoms, the uniform should be washed at a higher temperature and for longer. 

Nursery Laundry 

Nursery laundry should be washed at the highest temperature the manufacturing label identifies it can take. Do not place laundry on the floor and sanitise all areas laundry has come into contact with prior to washing. 

Risk Assessment 

The risk of transmission of COVID-19 should be added to all new nursery risk assessments until these restrictions are lifted. If a planned activity or action could increase the risk of transmission, the activity should be avoided. If in doubt, the assessor should seek advice from Head of H&S/Facilities or other member of the senior management team. 

Resources 

Play equipment in communal areas should be sanitized daily. Soft furnishings and resources with intricate parts that are difficult to clean will be removed. If sand and water play resources are used, the sand and water should be changed regularly.

Items brought from home 

Families should be discouraged from bringing items from home into the nursery. Comforters are permissible if not having them would cause a child distress. 

Visitors and meetings 

Attendance in the nursery should be restricted to children and staff as far as practically possible. All meetings and interactions should continue but by using Zoom or other web meeting tools, rather than inviting visitors into the nursery. 

Settling in sessions 

Parents may enter the nursery for the purpose of settling in sessions if not doing so would cause a child distress. Parents should minimise their movement around the nursery.

Nursery views and tours 

Prospective parent viewings and tours will try to be accommodated where practicable, out of hours or in empty spaces.

Meetings 

No physical group meetings should take place in the nursery. 1-2-1 meetings can be held where social distancing rules can be observed in full. All group meetings will take place on zoom 

Responding to a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19

A child displaying symptoms 

In the event of a child developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst attending the nursery, they should be collected as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with the NHS guidance. 

Whilst waiting for a parent/carer to collect the child, they should be isolated from others in a previously identified room or area (the staff office will be used). If possible, a window should be opened for ventilation. A staff member should care for them on a 1:1 basis.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available for the staff member if they feel it is appropriate. 

If the child becomes very unwell, it may be necessary to call 111 or 999.  Normal procedures on child illness must be observed. Targeted and enhanced cleaning should then take place in the areas of the nursery the child had accessed.

A staff member displaying symptoms 

In the event of a staff member developing coronavirus symptoms whilst attending nursery, they should leave the nursery as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. If they are unable to travel alone, they should wait in a previously identified room or area. If possible, a window should be opened for ventilation. The staff office will be used.

Targeted and enhanced cleaning should then take place in the areas of the nursery the team member had accessed. 

PPE Equipment 

Government guidance is that PPE is not required for general use in nurseries to protect against COVID19 transmission. However, staff must ensure they maintain 2 metres social distancing between adults in the nursery.  There is no requirement to maintain social distancing between children nor between individual adults and children.  If any staff members are going to be within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, they must wear face masks during this time.

Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are the most effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Gloves and aprons should continue to be worn as normal for nappy changing and the administration of first aid. Appropriate PPE should however be made available in a small number of cases to operate safely. 

A PPE box will be made available if a staff member decides they want to wear a mask, or where they a required to care for a child displaying coronavirus symptoms or when deep cleaning after any person has displayed coronavirus symptoms. 

PPE Box Contents:

1. Face Masks
2. Disposable gloves 
3. Disposable aprons
4. Tissues
5. Hand sanitizer 

PPE should be disposed of safely after use and the equipment replenished.

RETURNING FRM ABROAD

Please find below information from Scottish Government on quarantine arrangements for children.  The arrangements for children attending ELC are the same as those attending school.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 require all those returning to Scotland from non- exempt countries to self-isolate at home or another appropriate location for 14 days. Those self-isolating should not go out to work or childcare or school or visit public areas. As you will know, the list of exempt countries has been changed in recent days, with the removal of some countries, including France and the Netherlands, where people in Scotland commonly spend their holidays.

Please note: that exempt countries are constantly changing please follow up to date information. It is also important that parents/carers are aware of the legal requirements for their family if they are returning from non-exempt countries.

Parent Club is a fantastic resource that has lots of helpful information and advice. It may also be helpful to refer parents to the Scottish Government webpage with information about international travel.