We hope this information will answer the majority of the questions you may have about starting Pre-School in the current climate of COVID-19 and the safety measures we have put in place to ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible, as we welcome you and your child to Redhill Baptist Church Pre-School.
We understand that starting Pre-School may be a new experience for you and your child and we want to reassure you that we are here to support both you and your child. Please speak to us if you have any queries or concerns either on arrival or collection, alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or make an appointment to talk with us.
Settling in at Pre-School
We have been informed by the Government that in Early Years Settings children can now be in larger groups as opposed to the small groups of 5 children that we were in, during the spring and summer terms. We are proposing to have 2 groups of children in the morning and afternoon sessions. Children that are with us for a full day will stay in the same group. If the guidance changes for Early Years Settings, we will notify you as soon as we are updated.
You are welcome to stay either in the garden or the roof top for your child's first two sessions. Unfortunately, due to the latest advice we are not allowed to have parents in the main hall.
In these sessions your Key Person will discuss with you the individual needs of your child and complete an “All About Me” to support their settling into Pre-School. Please be assured after these settling in sessions, if your child does not settle after dropping off or if they become upset during the session and we cannot console them, that we will telephone you.
In the first few weeks you may find coming to collect your child earlier may help them to settle, your child’s Key Person will be able to advise you if they think an earlier collection would be helpful.
More Than One Setting
We have been advised that there is an increased risk of coronavirus infection if children attend more than one setting. The latest guidance says that parents should consider this. We kindly ask you to discuss this with us if your child will be attending another pre-school, nursery, or childminder.
If your child will not be attending for any reason, please informed us on first day of their absence.
We are kindly asking you to park in the front car park and in the side bays on the left-hand side of the driveway. The staff will park on the right-hand side of the Pre-School entrance gate, this is so everyone can physically distance on their arrival and departure.
Arrival and Collection
We are kindly asking you to observe the current guidance for social distancing on arrival and leaving the Pre-School. There will be a physically distanced one-way movement at the main entrance gate, please follow the signs responsibly. There will be 2 metre distancing signs for you to wait at, before individually bringing your child to the gate. Please arrive promptly at the beginning and end of the sessions. At the end of the session the staff will bring the children to the gate when it is time to go home. Please follow the same one-way physical distancing procedure.
What Should My Child Wear and Bring Into School?
Please take a look at our First Day information for further details but we ask that children should wear clean clothes every day, to minimise risks. We understand that your child may need a comforter in their first few weeks, please could you wash this after every session. No dummies please due to risk of infection. If your child has a dummy please talk to their Key Person for alternative suggestions. Please do not bring toys into the Pre-School.
Will My Child And The Staff Be Expected To Wear a Face Mask?
Following the guidance set out by the Government, children and staff will not be allowed to wear any form of PPE while at Pre-School, unless medically advised. If your child wears a mask to travel to the Pre-School, we ask that you remove it at the gate and take it away with you.
What Hygiene Measures Have Been Put In Place?
We have strict hygiene measures in the Pre-School. Guidance on effective hand washing will be modelled to the children and supported by posters around the Pre-School, you may hear them singing some new handwashing songs at home!
Examples of the detailed protocols we have in place include:
Staff and children must wash their hands thoroughly when they come into Pre-School, after playing outside and before and after snack time, during the session and at the end of the session.
Regular handwashing will be carried out in small groups to support health and safety.
Additional daily cleaning routines have been identified, cleaning of the toilets, children’s toilet seats and steps, toilet doors sinks and taps and the surrounding areas, door handles tables and chairs, in addition to a full clean at the end of each day.
The toys and equipment have been deep cleaned.
All our soft furnishings, such as cushions and rugs and soft toys have now been removed, as advised by our Early Years guidance.
Each group will have their own resources including paper, pens, pencils, and scissors. They each have a painting area, water tray and their own books, literacy and maths resources and toys. The environment is conducive for the team to be able to see all the children. The groups will not cross over but be able to see one another, this is something we thought was important as many of them are used to being all together and was very successful last term.We are planning to read stories and have our singing sessions together, whilst children remain in their individual groups.
Child-friendly guidance will be displayed on posters around the Pre-School and children will be reminded verbally.
All children and staff will follow a one-way system in the hall. Footprints and arrows have been placed inside to support the children.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Staff will be following the usual PPE guidelines at snack and lunchtimes and when supporting personal care and extended PPE for example - when dealing with a child who has COVID-19 symptoms.
Snacks and Lunch
Children will have their snacks in their groups to avoid a bottleneck in the toilets whilst washing their hands and using the toilet to minimise infection risk.
Social Distancing and Keeping Everyone Safe
It is of most importance that you and your family follow the current Government guidance for social distancing, not only whilst dropping off and collecting your child, but at all other times in and out of the Pre-School in order to protect and minimise the risks to our children, their families and our staff. If we need to talk to the children about distancing from a group we are using the term ‘physically distance’ because we feel that this is an easier concept for the children to relate to; socially distancing is more abstract and more difficult for us to teach and reinforce. I am sure you will understand however, that we cannot guarantee that our children will remain physically distant all the time.
Our risk assessment will be under an ongoing review and we will keep you up to date with any changes which will affect these guidelines. All staff have read and signed the risk assessment and have received training. This training has included instruction on all the measures that we have put in place to minimise risk and the procedure for a child or staff member with suspected coronavirus.
What Do I Do If My Child Or Someone in My Household Develops Symptoms of Coronavirus?
The medical advice is clear: you must self-isolate if you have coronavirus symptoms or live in the same household as somebody who does. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not 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 – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you have one or more of these symptoms, you must self-isolate straight away for 10 days – or longer if you still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste.
For more information please visit the NHS website for details.
What Happens If There Is A Confirmed Case Of Coronavirus In The Setting
The following advice applies to our staff and children’s household members and their bubbles.
If a child or a staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be sent home and to self-isolate for 10 days or longer if they still have symptoms.
They will need to obtain a test to see if they have COVID-19. The test can be booked by visiting NHS.UK or contacting NHS 119 if you do not have internet access. Fellow household members or household bubbles should self-isolate for 14 days.
All staff and children who are attending an education or childcare setting have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and must get tested in this scenario. Please inform the Pre-School of the test result immediately.
If You Test Negative
Where the child or staff member tests negative, if well (you could still have another virus, such as a heavy cold or flu) they can return to the setting and the fellow household members and bubbles can end their self-isolation. If the child or staff member still feels unwell after a negative test they should not return to the Pre-School until they are fully recovered.
If You Test Positive
If a child or staff member gets a positive test result, the child or staff member and the other members of their household must continue to self-isolate. We ask that you seek medical advice if you are still feeling unwell, after the isolation period, before returning to the Pre-School.
Process In The Event Of Outbreaks
If the Pre-School experiences an outbreak, either because we have 2 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among children or staff in their setting within 14 days, or there is an increase in children or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), we will need to contact our local health protection team. This team will advise if additional action is required, though the closure of the whole Pre-School will generally not be necessary.
Where an outbreak in a Pre-School is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive.
If our local area sees a spike in infection rates that is resulting in localised community spread, decisions will be made on what measures to implement to help contain the spread. The government will be involved in decisions and will support individual Pre-Schools, schools and colleges to follow the health advice.
In all cases, where groups of children need to self-isolate or where a larger restriction of attendance at Pre-Schools, schools or colleges is needed, we will try to support you with information and activities to help you remotely.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Children And Young People
Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means, that the small number of children who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to Pre-School, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Specialists in paediatric medicine have reviewed the latest evidence on the level of risk posed to children and young people from COVID-19. The latest evidence indicates that the risk of serious illness for most children and young people is low. In the future, we expect fewer children and young people will be included on the shielded patient list. If a child or young person is removed from the shielded patient list, they will no longer be advised to shield in the future if coronavirus transmission increases. To decide on whether a child or young person should be removed from the shielded patient list, you should talk to your paediatric specialist or GP. They will be in touch over the summer to discuss these decisions with you.
Please let us know if you have any further questions. Although we are having to work in a different way, we are committed to supporting you and your child in all aspects of learning, development and well-being.
Included in this information is the updated advice for coronavirus as of 18-08-2020.