|Focus ||Area of consideration ||Action steps |
|People ||Symptoms of Covid-19 || |
At the time of writing (24.05.20) the NHS recognise the main symptoms of coronavirus as:
- fever and high temperature - people will feel "hot to touch" on their chest or back (37.8 degrees Celsius or above)
- new, continuous dry cough - the NHS define this as coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (someone with an existing cough may find that it is worse than usual)
- loss or change to the sense of smell or taste - the NHS defines this as someone noticing that they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. Other less common symptoms include aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhoea, or a skin rash or discoloration of fingers or toes.
Symptoms begin gradually and are usually mild. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. A small percentage can become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. This is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, for older people, and for those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
|Protecting yourself || |
In addition to our usual infection control measures detailed in our Hygiene & Infection Control policy, Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general "handwashing and respiratory hygiene" precautions are taken to help prevent spreading coronavirus:
- cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing (Catch it, Bin it, Kill it)
- put used tissues in the bin straight away
- wash hands with soap and water often - wash for 20 seconds and use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces - known as "touchpoints"
- do not touch eyes, nose or mouth if hands are not clean.
In addition, the Government is asking people to "self-isolate" if they have symptoms of COVID-19, to stay at home whenever possible and to "socially distance" themselves.
| ||Self-Isolate || |
Colleagues who think they may have coronavirus symptoms should stay at home as follows:
- if you have symptoms of infection and live alone, you should self-isolate by staying at home and not leaving the house for 7 days from when the symptoms started
- if you live with others and one person has symptoms, you should self-isolate as a household for 14 days from the day when the first person in the house became ill (if anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptom appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period)
Those who are symptomatic are advised to:
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in the home whenever possible
- sleep alone, if possible
- wash hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water
- stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
- keep hydrated and use over the counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with the symptoms.
If symptoms worsen during home isolation, or if they are no better after 7 days, they should contact NHS 111 online or call NHS 111. For a medical emergency they should dial 999. Colleagues who are worried about their symptoms should avoid going directly to their GP, to a pharmacy or to a hospital.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed for people self-isolating and staying at home.
Self-isolating is designed to slow down the spread of the virus and protect others in the community whilst someone is infectious. It is understood that most people will no longer be likely to transmit the virus 10 days after the onset of symptoms. In a household situation it is likely that people will infect each other. This is the reason for the 14 day self-isolation.
|Social Distancing || |
To help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (covid-19) we will:
- Ask colleagues and children to remain at home if they are displaying symptoms - high temperature, a new and continuous cough, loss of smell and taste.
- In England and ROI and Belfast we take both colleagues and children's temperature on entering care and exclude anyone immediately if their temperature is above 37.8 and require, them to self-isolate for 10 days or until a negative test result has been received. In Scotland we take colleagues only.
- Review with colleagues their route to work to try to avoid non-essential use of public transports and encourage our parents to do the same
- Enable those, who can, to continue to work from home.
- Request that colleagues avoid large and small gatherings over 6 people outside of work, in line with government guidelines
- Maintain social distancing within settings as much as possible by ensuring the following measures are in place:
- Reduce where possible the number of children in the setting at any one time - our ratios still apply
- Colleagues working with the same people each day (working within a bubble)
- Stagger start times of colleagues and children to avoid rush on transport & within our reception areas
- Re-design our work / play space to allow for as much distancing as possible
- Look at flow of traffic and where possible have 1-way traffic - mark the corridor and queuing areas where needed
- Ensure breaks are staggered and suitable break areas are identified
- Where 1 meter plus distancing is not possible review transmission risk - barriers, 'bubbles', PPE
- Display posters reminding everyone of their responsibility in social distancing
- Restrict visitors & maintenance by appointment only (where possible) Where possible anyone wishing to view one of our nurseries, we will aim to do this out of hours or at quiet times. All visitors will be required to wear a mask
| ||PPE || |
- Government guidance is that PPE is not required for general use in early years settings to protect against COVID- 19 transmission. PPE should continue to be worn as normal for nappy changing, administration of first aid and during food preparation and serving.
- We do have an emergency PPE box, this contains, gloves, anti-bacterial gel, aprons, face masks and visors to be used should a child or colleague, starts to show symptoms and to be worn by the first aider caring for the child. On collection the colleague is to strip off all PPE items and these are to be placed in a bag and sealed and not to be touched for 42 hours - see Responding to a suspected case below.
- PPE stocks are to be recorded daily and orders should be placed (at least 6 weeks) in advance due to supply and demand.Orders are to be made through Consortium or Gompels and our Operations Director informed immediately if you're notified of a delay so we source an additional supplier.
- Alcohol sanitiser will be available throughout all settings where the use of soap and water is not possible.
- Everyone entering the setting should use the hand sanitiser before entering and before going to wash their hands. All visitors to the nursery will be required to wear a mask and parents are required to wear face coverings at drop off and collection
- Colleagues travelling on public transport will be provided with two washable masks (and filters) and asked to remove them and store them in a sealed bag before entering the setting. (the fitting of masks will be covered in Zoom training for all colleagues)
- Face coverings must be worn when in communal areas, these should be removed when re-entering the area with the children and places in a named Ziplock bag. These must be stored out of the reach of children.
- Face shields will be provided for colleagues working in our settings, only to be worn when working on the front desk, greeting parents and children and acting as the runner for the day.
|Management ||Infection prevention || |
In addition to our normal infection control measures (detailed in our Hygiene & infection Control policy and in line with the social distancing measures in this document, we have done the following to support infection prevention:
- Reviewed our opening and closing safety and cleanliness checklist, toy cleaning and introduced hourly 'touchpoint' cleaning document to directly address the risks associated with covid-19, that are both realistic and sensible measures to protect colleagues and children.
- Removed unnecessary furniture and soft furnishings, including some toys which are deemed unsuitable during the outbreak.
- Where parents are required to sign in there will be a pot of clean pens and a pot for dirty pens. All used pens must be placed in the dirty pot post use and cleaned between session
- All paper documents parents are required to sign will be placed on a clip board that colleagues will place down for parents to then sign, this reduces the sharing of paper between colleagues and parents.
- Reviewed working practices where possible to create 'bubbles' and reduce potential transmission by reducing the contact between children as far as possible (during the day) Children will be grouped in a bubble with the same children and team members each day for track and trace purpose.
- Reduced the number of children attending a setting where possible to enable social distancing - ratios still apply
- Revised timetables and lesson plans, where possible, to deliver care as much as we can outside
- Staggered lunch and breaks
- Relaxed our uniform policy to enable clean clothing every day. This includes the ability to wear any form of trousers, washing of uniform on site (where the setting has the facilities to do so), the wearing of non-work top (providing a name badge is worn at all times). This is a safety measure and will revert back to full uniform post the outbreak.
- Written to all parents to confirm measures we would like them to abide to in all our settings. This includes but not exclusive to social distancing, children not bringing in items from home (nursery will accept a small bag and 'essential' items) - in creches we would like parents to take coats etc as much as possible.
|Illness on site || |
In line with our Exclusion policy, if anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature (above 37.8), 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 infection guidance.
If a child is awaiting collection, colleagues should follow our normal Exclusion Policy - 'The sick child' guidelines, however additional measures include:
- Whilst waiting for the child to be collected they should be isolated from others in a previously identified room (where possible and weather permitting this should be outside) If inside and where possible, a window should be opened for ventilation. Specific space will be shared with you for your setting.
- The colleague responsible for the child during this time should be a colleague from their 'bubble' (and first aid trained, although someone from the buddle supersedes first aid. The first aider however must be made aware and available). The colleague will wear items from the emergency PPE box - gloves, apron, mask and visor.
- If they need the toilet during this period, they should be escorted to a separate toilet (where possible) and aim to avoid them touching any surfaces along the way. The toilet should then be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by someone else
- We must follow up to see how they are and if symptoms continued (ensuring they are self-isolating for 10 days, and that their fellow household members are self-isolating for 14 days)
In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or their life is at risk.
First aid should be delivered with reference to the latest safeguards from the Resuscitation Council UK.
| ||Deep clean after Covid-19 case || |
The below guidelines should be followed and updated for any changes checked on the government website.
- The minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning an area where a person with possible or confirmed COVID-19 is disposable gloves and an apron. Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning, where a mask if there is a risk.
- Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed.
- Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.
- When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.
- Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.
- Public areas where a symptomatic individual had passes through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned through as normally.
- All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
- objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
- all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilet areas, door handles, telephones, bannisters in corridors
- Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces; floors, chairs, door handles and nappy areas. Deep cleaning should be done with an increased Milton solution 3 capful to 5 litres of water
- Laundry - Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Use the warmest water settings and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people's items. Do not shake dirty laundry, to minimise the possibility of dispersing any virus through the air. Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.
- Disposable PPE to be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full and double bagged. Uniform (clothing) and the re-usable visor should be placed in another plastic rubbish bag and tied when full and double bagged and put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual's test results are known.
Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
|Confirmed case of Covid-19 in the setting || |
Following the above 'Illness on site' the children/colleague in question should self-isolate. All colleagues and children who were in attendance when the person was sent home will be sent home and advised to self-isolate of 14 day. All colleagues will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
- Everyone in that bubble and anyone who could have potentially come into contact with the colleague / child will be notified.
- Where the child or colleague tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
- Where the child or colleague tests positive, the rest of their bubble should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider bubble do not need to self-isolate unless the child or colleague they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms
- .Where colleagues may have come in contact with the child or colleagues who tested positive and are in self-isolation but still show no symptoms, after 10 days will be sent for testing and if the result is negative will be able to return to work.
- In all cases we will notify Public Health England's local health protection team and take immediate advice at the time of the incident.
| ||RIDDOR reporting of Covid-19 || |
We must report under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) when:
- an unintended incident at work leads to a possible or actual exposure to coronavirus (reported as a dangerous occurrence)
- a colleague is diagnosed with COVID-19 with reasonable evidence of exposure at work (reported as a case of disease)
- a colleague dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
In all events we would report under RIDDOR online via the HSE website.
|EYFS || |
- Child Health Declaration will be completed for every child on returning, including covid-19 related questions. Parents will be asked on every visit to confirm their circumstances have not changed.
- All children requiring a Health Care Plan will have a review on returning and monitored in line with policy - every 6 months
- Within 2 weeks of retuning baseline assessment must take place, and changes observed and reported on iConnect
- We will continue to focus on planning for children, however will need to take into consideration adjustments to the learning environment, made in relation to the removal of some equipment and malleable resources.
- All 7 areas of learning must be planned for as far as practicable during this period. Consideration must be taken to how stories, singing and games can support children to socialise and settle.
- Within 2 weeks of opening planning must be completed for each key group, including how children keep themselves safe. Including regular handwashing and using and disposing of tissues.
- Timetable / activities to be revised to reflect 'all measures' including but not exclusive to safe distancing of children, outdoor learning as much as possible, restricted movement between environments.
- Children should be encouraged to exert themselves physically. Careful consideration needs to be given to ensure fair usage of outdoor, ensuring all Bubbles and Group get as much outdoor learning as possible
- We will need to provide opportunities for learning for our non- attendees, this will be done via a weekly newsletter provided by our Central support team, each setting must provide a simple weekly activity. Parents should be encouraged to upload weekly activities of their child learning to ensure the partnership with parents is maintained
- Stagger drop off/collection, breaks and lunch
- Stop all self-serve of food and toilet independence (must control numbers)
- Provide time for the cleaning of equipment between bubbles (mainly applied to outside play/shared space)
- Rotation of toys and equipment (restrict free choice so that sanitisation can be controlled)
- Limit the exchange of resources (between rooms and to parents) - think about sending photos of children's work throughout the day (nurseries only)
- Remove soft toys and furnishings (reducing risk and allowing more space within the room for distancing)
- Think about the child's experience / journey from the entrance (think about visual stimulations & actions to settle the child)
- Review all posters and signage, making sure positive language is used to aid good hygiene amongst colleagues & children
- Notify regulatory body of any positive cases
| ||Safeguarding || |
The Department for Education has issued new guidance on the application of KCSIE (Keeping children safe in education) and whilst our safeguarding policy is still valid, there are some additional measure to be aware of in the current circumstance:
- The company DSL is available at all times - this is Louise William and Lindsey Doe
- Known vulnerable children should be given a childcare place or we should work with the LA to secure a place elsewhere
- Any child who commits to regular attendance should be contacted if they do not arrive for care (in line with our nursery T&Cs which state we should be informed before 10am if not attending)
- Children due to start school may stay on for the September term (if agreement with the parents and transitioning school and in the child's best interest)
- Colleague recruitment checks to remain in force. If a DBS has been applied for and we are awaiting clearance (with references received) then the colleague may start work, but must be clearly identified to the team, not left alone with children or do any intimate care routine.
- Any concerns, changes in behaviour of children, colleagues or parents must be addressed with the DSO and in the absence of them, straight to the DSL.
Our whistleblowing policy remain unchanged and available on the intranet for all colleagues.
|First Aid - our settings || |
Paediatric first aid certification requirements stay in place as set out in paragraph 3.25 and Annex A of the EYFS, with the stipulation that 'at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present
If first-aid cover in settings is reduced because of the coronavirus we must have the following in place as a minimum.
- At least one paediatric first aider (PFA)on the premises at any time (break cover needs to be considered)
- Book colleagues who require an update on online refreshers training (certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020 can be extended by up to 3 months)
- Anyone who has not had PFA before needs to attend a course when safe to do so (before October 31st 2020)
For First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) we will share resource with our clients and use their first aiders should a colleague need attention. We will ensure that they:
- are aware of type of injuries or illnesses that you identified in your first aid needs assessment and have the training and skills to address them
- know enough about our work environment and its first aid facilities
- are able to get to the workplace in good time if needed
This policy will remain under review until we are fully operational and all colleagues have been re-trained where required. We are following the HSE First Aid guidance and will continually review for Scotland and Ireland as additional advice becomes available.
| ||First Aid - Central Office || |
For First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) we will use Regus first aider should a colleague need attention and if not available agree shared resource with another office. We will ensure that they:
- are aware of type of injuries or illnesses that you identified in your first aid needs assessment and have the training and skills to address them
- know enough about our work environment and its first aid facilities and are able to get to the workplace in good time if needed
|Communication || |
Colleagues: Throughout the period we have used carrying communication styles (whilst respecting Furlough guidance)
- Invite to all colleagues to weekly Zoom Fika call - Wellbeing
- Central Support weekly Zoom call - Wellbeing
- Weekly update (combination of video and email) - Business update and wellbeing
- Survey 1 - Colleague Covid-19 Survey around individuals'/household symptoms, if shown and their 'vulnerable' category.
- Survey 2 - Colleague Return to Work Survey - Understanding colleagues' mode of transport, and responsibilities around dependents, and if currently pregnant.
- Collection of demographic and ethnicity data from all colleagues via Dayforce to enable us to see by site how many colleagues fall in BAME. Once we have this information and additional survey will be sent to those colleagues prior to them returning to work
- Preparing to return to work (including guidance shared with parents)
- Invite to mandatory training - online resource and Zoom f2f 'new normal' training
Team not furloughed
- Daily management calls to keep abreast of situation and planning next steps
- Weekly nursery managers call to plan for re-opening
Compliance: We split this between Directors as follows:
- Daily updates from WHO, DfE, HPA - Louise Williams
- Covid 19 Nursery Group - 2 meetings per week - Lindsey Doe
Parents - Nursery
- Weekly newsletter to Nursery parents - Business update and Activities
- Frequent Zoom Calls with nursery to ''Catch Up'' - Wellbeing
- Regular postings on Company and Nursery specific Facebook pages.
Parents - Creches
- Newsletter to update on Business and regular Facebook Updates on dedicated Facebook page.
- Weekly check in calls with all managers to check operation and wellbeing
| ||Returning to Work || |
Colleagues will be phased back to work (from Furlough) with the following consideration/measures in place:
Our matrix for returning colleagues to work includes a review of:
- Underlying health conditions (for the colleague and household)
- Vulnerable (moderate risk) group
- Extremely vulnerable / "shielding" (high risk) group
- Method of transport
- Caring commitments that have been directly affected by Covid-19
Measures we may be able to offer those not ready to return included (not exclusive to or guaranteed):
- Ability to use some holiday to delay return date (if you have holiday to be used)
- Ability to take unpaid leave for a short period of time (if business can allow)
- Reduction in contracted hours (either for a short time or permanent)
In the case where we cannot agree, on fair terms, for a colleague to return we will default to relevant policies in our colleague's handbook to resolve the matter.
Wellbeing prior to coming off of furlough:
- Survey 1: to identify if colleagues, or anyone within a colleagues' household has tested positive or displayed symptoms of Covd-19
- Survey 2: to identify colleagues who rely on public transport and who have responsibility for dependents identify if they they or anyone in their household has tested positive and dates of infection and confirmation that isolation period was observed and is completed.
- Declaration & wellbeing form to be completed by all colleagues to check if anything has changed (Qualifications by Association) and check their wellbeing and mental state
Training prior to entering the workplace:
- A letter issued to colleagues about returning, including a synopsis of how we plan to operate.
- Invite to Zoom training on the "new normal" - mandatory.
- Post Zoom training, all colleagues will receive an email and be issued with the "Tinies Early Tears Settings - COVID 19 Synopsis of our Site Operating Procedures", along with references to the full policies on SharePoint that they must read. All colleagues must sign and date the document stating they have read the policies and that they have understood and can comply to the new safety measures before returning to work
- Weekly audit checks conducted by Central Support to ensure all colleagues have fully understood and been able to implement all policy and procedures.
On site our safety measure for colleague's wellbeing include:
- Temperature checks of all colleagues and children (in England, ROI & Belfast) on arrival
- Clear guidance on symptoms and when to stay and home
- PPE for normal duties and additional PPE (Face shield and mask) for dealing with anyone with suspected Covid-19
- Face masks for those travelling on public transport
- Relaxation in uniform to allow for washing time where needed (name badge must be worn)
- Restricted visitors to the setting
- Limiting (where possible) colleagues on site together at any one time
- Reducing number of children (where possible)
- Creating bubbles (where possible)
- Colleagues who share lifts can only do so if they are working in the same bubble and must wear face coverings at all times in the car. Managers and Deputies are unable to travel together.
|Home Workers || |
We have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as other colleagues.
Measures in place to support our colleagues include:
- Daily management calls and scheduled f2f meetings via Teams to check wellbeing and set work and agree actions
- Agreed breaks in the day and to put them in the diary to avoid meeting bookings
- Provided equipment (from the office) to support role - additional screen, laptop, etc (purchases also made on Amazon)
During this time all Central Support colleagues to work from home as much as possible and attend all meetings via video through Teams / Zoom.
Colleague to flag any issues, relating to health and safety to Directors for a review of working conditions.
| ||Office Working || |
- Unnecessary furniture should be removed.
- Desks and workstations should be separated
- Everyone must remain at their desks (no hotdesking) these should be wiped down at the end of the day
- If the board table is used, social distancing must be observed and cleaned down prior to and after use with antibacterial spray and disposable cloth.
- A rota must be applied ensuring the area does not exceed 10 people at any one time
- Central support colleagues must use their own mug and ensure its washed and dried and kept on your desk
- Colleagues working from the office should bring their own eating utensils for lunch and not share them
- Stationary should not be shared and kept on your desk.
- All communal items (kettle, coffee machine and printer must be wiped down after every use)
- Face coverings are to be worn in communal areas