Returning to childminding
during Coronavirus Policy
The UK has been in lockdown since March and early years and childcare settings such as myself were told by the government to close from Monday 23 March 2020. I have been looking after key worker and vulnerable children since then. We have been told by government that we may be able to begin looking after all children of all ages from as early as 1 June 2020. This policy has been written to document how my setting with do it’s utmost to control and reduce the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus. I have had to figure out what will work for my setting by balancing keeping myself and the children safe and providing a service to all of my families.
Policy (what I will do)
My policy will be to reduce contact between people as much as possible. We can achieve this and reduce transmission by ensuring that children and myself only mix in small, consistent groups that stay away from other people and groups. Schools and larger education settings are putting children in consistent groups of up to 15 children called a “bubble”. Although I will have a maximum of 6 children per day at my setting, overall I will only be looking after 13 children so we will always be working in a 13 children bubble. Public Health England (PHE) is clear that if early year’s settings, schools and colleges do this, and crucially if we also apply regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handle potential cases of the virus as per government advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered.
We cannot social distance young children. We have a duty of care to provide for their basic needs such as love, comfort, food, hygiene etc. and so I will continue to change nappies and love and cuddle the children in my care.
Public Health England have advised us that the symptoms of Coronavirus include a new continuous cough and high temperature (37.5˚C and above), upset tummy, flu like symptoms, runny nose and a loss of smell or taste. Symptoms typically appear 2-10 days after infection and any contact with the virus could potentially make any of us ill.
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. Avoid public transport if at all possible and do not visit public places except for food or medical assistance. If at any time anyone in your household shows any symptoms of the coronavirus you will need to keep your children at home until that person has been tested or for at least 14 days from the day their symptoms started. If the test is negative the child may return to my setting, however if the test is positive then you will need to keep your child at home for at least 14 days.
If a child or anyone in their home tests positive whilst they have been in my care I will have to close my whole setting until their test comes back negative or after 14 days. This would mean no childcare for anyone.
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.
Procedure (how I will do it)
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 as soon as it is half full and at the end of each day.
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 hallway and I will close the kitchen door to prevent other children joining us in the hallway. If you children are old enough, understand and are happy to do so they can walk to my front door on their own from your car. Please keep everyone in your car and text me when you arrive on my driveway. I will open my front door and wave; encouraging your children to walk to my front door independently.
I will implement staggered drop off and collection times for each family so that no two families arrive at my setting at the same time. If you arrive and notice another family is at my front door please stay in your vehicle or on the pavement at the end of my driveway until the other family has left before you approach my front door.
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.
Children’s individual bags should contain a change of clothes and any other items that you think I may need and be dropped to my setting at least 72 hours before your child is due to come back after 1 June 2020. I will isolate these bags and then place them on their hooks in the hallway for use. If I use an item from the bag (such as a change of clothes) I will put dirty clothes in a tied plastic bag and send home with the child and ask for a new set of clothes to replace those from the bag. Please do not send toys and comforters from home each day. Children will also not be allowed to use electronic devices brought from home.
There is no need for anything other than normal personal hygiene and washing of clothes following a day in an educational or childcare setting.
My setting will be well ventilated and kept clean at all times, particularly high traffic areas such as light switches, door handles, toys, tables and chairs etc.
Toys and resources will be kept to a minimum and rotated at the end of each day with those kept in storage to prevent cross contamination. Dolls clothes and blankets will be washed after every use.
The children will eat meals and snacks from individual plates using both the dining room table and the little activity table to help keep them spaced apart. I will explain to the children why we are not sharing and why we should not take food from others plates. I am keeping daily numbers of children to 6 maximum so I can sit 4 at the dining room table and 2 at the activity table. All food and drinks to be supplied by myself, please do not send food or drink from home.
My own clothes will be clean every day. I will wash my hands regularly and do my best not to touch my face. I will not wear a face mask and do not expect the children to wear one.
No outside visitors will come into my home whilst the lockdown is in place and my cleaner will temporarily come on a day when I have no children here when I am out of the house.
My buggy will be cleaned by wiping it down and spraying with antibacterial spray at the end of each day or more often if required.
We will not leave the premises at this time other than to drop off and pick up from nursery. I will drive the children in my car to nursery, stay in my car in the car park, text the key worker who will come to my car to collect the children. At the end of the nursery session I will stay in my car in the car park, text the key worker who will bring the children to my car.
We will use the garden and resources outside as much as possible to get fresh air and exercise. As things progress and on advice from the government I may begin to do the school run but will let you know as and when this may happen.
If you decide not to send your children back if I am able to re-open on 1 June 2020 I will continue to charge a 50% of your usual monthly fee unless otherwise discussed individually with each family.
Policy Written by: Ilana Hill on: 12 May 2020
Updated on: As required
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