Corona Virus Policy (1 March 2022)
Further to the Coronavirus outbreak in early 2020 and the resulting regulations over the past two years there have been numerous government guidelines in place for Early Years settings. Most of those guidelines have now been relaxed so this policy has been written to document how my setting will do it’s utmost to control and reduce the risk of the transmission of the Coronavirus.
I have had to figure out what will work for my setting by balancing keeping myself and the children safe as well as providing a professional service to all of my families. My first concern, as always, is for the health and safety of the children in my setting and I have a duty under the EYFS regulations to keep children healthy. ‘The provider must promote the good health of the children attending the setting. They must have a procedure, discussed with parents and/or carers, for responding to children who are ill or infectious, take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection, and to take appropriate action if children are ill.’ EYFS Sep 2021.
Policy (what I will do)
Although the legal requirements have been removed, anybody who tests positive (including children of any age) will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days. Early years settings are being asked to encourage families to follow this guidance.
Although national legal restrictions have been removed, local authorities will continue to manage local outbreaks of COVID-19 in high risk settings as they do with other infectious diseases. I will let you know if and when this affects my setting.
I will follow government guidelines to keep myself safe and healthy. I have an expectation that parents/carers and anyone living at home with the children do the same.
Procedure (how I will do it)
With the reduction in testing, it looks increasingly likely that many people in the community will have COVID-19 without knowing it. Coughs and colds are part of life in early years and as a community we cannot realistically keep testing every time a child has a slight sniffle. However, as has always been the case, you should keep your child at home if they are unwell or if they show any of the following symptoms:
1. A high temperature – this means they feel hot to touch on their chest or back or a reading of 37.5°C or higher
2. A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
3. A loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this may mean things smell or taste different to normal. (Small children may not be able to tell you this but may show you by going off their food.)
I will continue to regulate thorough hand washing routines and monitor these where necessary. There will be a constant supply of soap and warm water for this purpose as well as single use flannels for hand drying which the children will place directly into the washing machine after each use. These will be washed every evening at 60˚C. If children’s hands become dried or cracked I will apply a small dab of E45 hand cream for them to rub in. I will get parent/carer permission to do so.
I will continue to encourage children to catch coughs and sneezes into a tissue or their elbow and put the tissue into the bin immediately followed by thorough hand washing. I will also continue to encourage children to turn their head away from others if they cough or sneeze. The bin will be emptied regularly.
I will continue to implement a ‘drop at the door’ policy where parents/carers do not enter my setting. Only one parent/carer should drop or collect their child at my setting at one time. Please knock or ring the doorbell then step back onto the driveway and I will encourage the children to come inside. If this proves emotional or difficult then please do come with me into the setting so that we can have a happy handover. If children are old enough, can understand and are happy to do so they can walk to my front door on their own from your car.
I will ask each child to remove coats and shoes, hang these on their hooks in the hallway and then immediately wash hands before touching anything in my setting. I will encourage and assist any children that need it.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 they will not be allowed back into my setting until they have isolated for 5 days and receive a negative result.
If someone in your household receives a positive COVID-19 result and the child also shows symptoms they will not be allowed to attend until they get a negative test result.
If someone in your household receives a positive COVID-19 result and the child does not show symptoms I ask you to keep your child at home until they receive a negative test result.
If anyone in my household tests positive for COVID-19 we will immediately take a test and I will be able to remain open if we get a negative result.
If I test positive for COVID-19 I will close my setting for 5 days until I receive a negative result.
If anyone else in my household tests positive for COVID-19 I will be able to remain open and they will isolate in a separate part of the house not sharing any facilities with the children.
I will keep up to date with new regulations and guidance from government, Department for Education and Ofsted and communicate any necessary details to all families by email or text.
Policy Written by: Ilana Hill on: 1 March 2022
Much of my policy is focussed around the following document from the government website.
111 – call if you are concerned or need advice about any symptoms you or any member of your household has
0800 046 8687 – Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
119 – to ask for assistance about getting a COVID-19 test
Lateral Flow tests can now be purchased at most major supermarkets and pharmacies
To record the results of your lateral flow test
General government information around Covid-19 updates