8.6 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Policy
This policy applies to all employees, parents, children, volunteers, students and anyone else working on behalf of the Pre-School. This policy also applies to service users and delivery drivers visiting the Pre-School.
The health and wellbeing of children in our care and our staff is our top priority and we are working hard to do whatever we can to protect ourselves from the possible spread of virus. Covid-19 can affect our business if it becomes prevalent in our area and/or if new guidance from the government authorities are issued. It is also likely to affect staffing levels and children’s attendance and we may need to take additional measures to ensure that our premises are safe for use.
All the updates and guidelines received from the NHS and Department of Education are being strictly followed by the Pre-School. In addition to our existing policies we have enforced strict measures to address the risk of Covid-19 and to ensure we provide safe environments for everyone.
Purpose of policy
· Protect all employees, and service users including parents and children from coming into contact with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
· To maintain the minimum level of staff to continue to provide the welfare needs of the children in our care.
· To prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) infection has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organisation.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
· A continuous cough
· A high temperature
· Shortness of breath
(These symptoms are similar to a cold or flu).
· A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. (added on 18/05/2020)
If an employee experiences any of the above symptoms they will inform the Manager or Deputy immediately, self-isolate and contact 111 for advice. Following Government guidelines, anyone who has worked with or come into contact with that employee will also be required to self isolate for 14 days.
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children.
These are the conditions to report a case to RIDDOR
· an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
· a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
· a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
The Pre-School is closely monitoring and gathering information from The Department of Health, on the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the management team are in regular communication, and feedback to employees. Service providers have a duty of care to communicate with Westwood Farm Community Pre-School if any of their staff or family/friends contract Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are made to self-isolate. Please call on 07591 750224, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following Government guidelines, the Pre-School closed on 20th March 2020, and will remain closed until further notice. There are 6 children with key worker parents, however they all had alternative childcare options at home.
All staff have been told not to attend the Pre-School.
All fundraising events have been cancelled until further notice.
(New guidance on 10 May has stated that early years settings may be able to reopen on 1st June).
Due to the nature of our premises (rented hall in a social club), Pre-School may have to remain closed if we do not permission to access the building.
No employee is required to travel outside of the UK for their job. Following Government guidelines, the Pre-School has requested any employee, or child who travels to an infected area will self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
Hygiene - General
Employees are advised and expected to practice good hygiene and cleanliness standards.
· Face masks are not compulsory, but it is the choice of an individual if they would like to wear them.
· All staff are required to wash their hands when coming to the Pre-School and starting work; and every time they re-enter the premises.
· Additional measures include that as a precautionary measure, parents/carers have to stay at the foyer and will not be allowed into the room at the time of pickup/drop off. Where possible they will be asked to remain outside. They will be asked to enter the foyer one at a time. (These procedures will be finalised once we have definite numbers).
· On arrival children will be expected to use anti bac hand gel.
· Children/staff are to regularly wash hands with hand wash and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Children/staff are to regularly use hand sanitiser.
· Children/staff are to cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with either a bent elbow or tissue and always wash hands afterwards. (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
· Children/staff are to avoid close contact with others, such as handshakes and maintain a social distance of 2 metres.
· Children/staff are to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Staff are to wash all uniform after each session with the children, and parents are requested to wash children’s clothes in between sessions.
· It is the Pre-Schools policy to follows strict hygiene routines which includes a thorough cleaning of the whole Pre-School daily.
· Staff are required to anti bac all the toys and equipment daily.
· In line with the latest guidelines from the government if any child develops temperature or a new continuous cough, we advise parents to keep them home for 7 days (exclusion period) as outlined in Government guidelines.
Hygiene – Admin area
To help ensure the Coronavirus does not spread internally through the Pre-School, the following actions are being taken;
· Frequently touched areas are appropriately cleaned several times a day
· These include; desks, laptops, printer, door handles, switches and telephones.
· Hand sanitiser is being used frequently within the Pre-School.
Where possible the Administrator is to work from home until further notice.
What will our provision look like?
· We will use our outside space as far as possible; and use the equipment from outside to bring into the hall if required due to the weather.
· Minimal equipment and toys that are easy to clean will be available.
· Toys with small intricate parts will not be provided due to being more difficult to clean.
· Sand will not be used during this time.
· Playdough will only be used when children are provided with their own. It will not be shared.
· The outdoor climbing frame will be closed for use as it is extremely difficult to clean between uses.
· We will remove soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean.
It is vital that Westwood Farm Community Pre-School continues to care for the Children entrusted in our care. We will continue to do this while continuing to provide the necessary health and safety for the employees and visitors to our Pre-School.
Strict compliance of the government guidelines and the above measures are required to be followed at all times.
We will also follow the requests of the Committee of the Westwood Club from whom we rent the hall.