Corona Virus Policy:
What is the Coronavirus:
The world Health Organisation states that Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads.
Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus:
The NHS lists the symptoms of Corona Virus as followed:
- High temperature-this means you feel hot to the touch on your chest or back (you do nt need to measure your temperature)
- New, continuous cough-this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste different to normal.
Most people with corona virus have at least one of these symptoms.
What we are doing as an Early Years setting in relation to Coronavirus:
As a childcare setting it is our responsibility to ensure we minimise the risk of infection making the setting as safe as possible. We follow the Government advise on Implementing protective measures in Education and childcare setting
To achieve this we:
- Follow the latest advice published by the Government:
- The latest advise on symptoms, isolation information if you or someone you live with has symptoms and information for people at higher risk can be accessed via the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- As a Early Years setting we follow the latest advice from the Governments department of Education on Corona Virus in relation to Childcare settings https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare
- Have created a Covid-19 Risk Assessment:
We have considered the specific risks of the coronavirus pandemic and how we can assess and mitigate them in our setting. The COVID-19 risk assessment is used alongside all existing risk assessment.
- Implement vigorous hygiene practises for effective infection protection and control:
At Blossoming Buddies, preventing the spread of covid-19 involves dealing with direct transmission (for instance, when in close contact with those sneezing and coughing) and indirect transmission (via touching contaminated surfaces).
A range of approaches and actions should be employed to do this, to substantially reduce the risk of infection.
- minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have covid-19 symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend childcare settings and follow the latest Government advise on self-isolating.
- cleaning hands more often than usual. – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
ALL CHILDREN TO WASH HANDS ON ARRIVAL INTO THE SETTING. BEFORE AND AFTER EATING. AFTER USING THE TOILET, SNEESING AND COUGHING.
Washing your hands is the most effective way of keeping germs away. The NHS has useful information on how to wash your hands (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/) including a video that children can watch.
Hands should be washed for around 20 seconds. There are various ways to help small children understand how long they should wash their hands for, for example, by singing “If you’re happy and you know it” or “Happy Birthday” through twice.
- ensuring good respiratory hygiene – promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
- cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach. clean surfaces that children are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal.
- minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times)
- Reduce the use of shared resources:
-by limiting the amount of shared resources that are taken home and limit exchange of take home resources between children and staff
-by seeking to prevent the sharing of stationery and other equipment where possible.
-Shared materials and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently
- Know when to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Including Face Coverings and Face Masks:
- Wearing a face covering or face mask in a childcare settings or other education settings is NOT recommended.
- Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained. This does NOT apply to schools, childcare or other education settings.
- Blossoming Buddies does therefore not require staff or children to wear face coverings. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask where instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.
- The majority of staff in childcare settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work (e.g. nappy changing), even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.
- PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:
-children whose care routine already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue in the same way.
– if a child, becomes unwell with symptoms of covid-19 while in the preschool and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child is necessary, then gloves, an apron and a face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn
5. Protect Shielded and Clinically Vulnerable Children:
- For the vast majority of children, covid-19 is a mild illness.
- Children and young people (0 to 18 years of age) who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions and have have been advised to shield will not be expected to attend the preschool but will continue to be supported at home as much as possible.
- Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from covid-19. A small minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.
- Protect Shielded and Clinically Vulnerable Adults:
- For adults that are classes as Clinically extremely vulnerable it is strongly advised these staff member should not attend work. This includes those with serious underlying health conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from covid-19 and have been advised by their GP or through a letter.
- Please refer to the Government website as follows for more advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremelyvulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
- Clinically vulnerable individuals who are at higher risk of severe illness (for example, people with some pre-existing conditions) should take extra care in observing social distancing and should work from home where possible.
- Protect those living with a shielded or Clinically Vulnerable Person:
- If a child or member of staff lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, they can attend preschool.
- If a child or staff member lives in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable, as set out above, it is advised they only attend the preschool if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and, in the case of children, they are able to understand and follow those instructions. This may not be possible for very young children without the capacity to adhere to the instructions on social distancing. If stringent social distancing cannot be adhered to, we do not expect those individuals to attend, however, Blossoming Buddies will endeavor to support the learning from home.
Class or Group Sizes:
We know that, unlike older children and adults, young children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. Blossoming buddies are taking this into account and have therefore set out measures below:
-avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
-frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
-regular cleaning of settings
-minimising contact and mixing
-It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and we can achieve this and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children and staff, where possible, only mix in a small, consistent group and that small group stays away from other people and groups.
-For pre-school children at Blossoming Buddies, the staff to child ratios continue to apply as set out by the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Additional ways we can implement protective measures at Blossoming Buddies to prevent the spread of covid-19:
- children, parents, carers or any visitors, such as suppliers, that they must not enter the preschool if they are displaying any symptoms of covid-19
- only symptom free parents/careers may drop off and pick up their child
- parents cannot gather at entrance gates or doors, or enter the site (unless they have a prearranged appointment, which should be conducted safely). Practise social distancing. Staggered drop off and pick up times.
- door step drop off and pick
- ensure play equipment is appropriately cleaned between groups of children using it, and that multiple groups do not use it simultaneously
- remove soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean (such as those with intricate parts)
- Play outside more frequently
What happens if someone becomes unwell at an educational or childcare setting?
- If anyone in an education or childcare setting becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection guidance. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance)
- If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them 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 should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
- PPE should be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs).
In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.
- If a member of staff has helped someone with symptoms, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case, a test is available) or the child subsequently tests positive (see ‘What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a setting?’ below). They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. Cleaning the affected area with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. See the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance:
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a setting?
- When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19), they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. They can do this by visiting NHS.UK (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/)to arrange or contact NHS 119 via telephone if they do not have internet access. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
- Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
- Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
- As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.
What Blossoming Buddies need parent/careers to do:
- Parents/careers need to follow the standard national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and where to get further advice. If anyone in the household develops a fever, or a new continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they are advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance (which states that the ill person should remain in isolation for 10 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days).
Supporting children-take steps to manage anxiety surrounding symptoms and illness:
- Washing your hands is the most effective way of keeping germs away.
- The NHS has useful information on how to wash your hands (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/) including a video that children can watch.
- Hands should wash your hands for around 20 seconds. There are various ways to help small children understand how long they should wash their hands for, for example, by singing “If you’re happy and you know it” or “Happy Birthday” through twice.
- The NHS Library and Knowledge Services https://library.nhs.uk/coronavirus-resources/children-and-young-people/) have a list of resources you can take advantage of. Their resources include book recommendations, poems, resources for parents and more.
- Don’t Worry, Little Bear!: This lovely story on the Early Years Story Book website, is to help explain Coronavirus to children and to assure them that everything will be okay. (https://www.earlyyearsstorybox.com/corona/?fbclid=IwAR32EkBvEwXAz4s34qNHxfCJIFD57vxC2n1fQf4ampALfPiZCq2tayRjHVg)
- My name is Coronavirus: This booklet from @mindheart.kids, (https://www.instagram.com/mindheart.kids/) Manuela Molina, offers a lovely, child friendly explanation of coronavirus and comes in various languages if you have children in your settings with second languages.
- Pips guide to Covid-19: A better start Southend: Taking inspiration from Manuela Molina’s ‘My name is Coronavirus’, A Better Start Southend created their own version called Pip’s guide to COVID-19 (https://abetterstartsouthend.co.uk/pips-guide-to-covid-19) which offers another way of talking to children about Coronavirus and the current situation the world is facing.
- Supporting the understanding of social distancing: This lovely video called ‘While we can’t hug’ is about Hedgehog and Tortoise who want to give each other a great big hug, but they’re not allowed to touch. https://youtu.be/2PnnFrPaRgYV