Following the reopening of our Oxford and Heath Mill Nurseries to keyworkers at the beginning of this week and that of Barnt Green next week; and the news that the government intend for all nurseries to be able to reopen at the beginning of June, subject to review at the end of May; we understand that the burning questions at the forefront of all parent’s minds will be surrounding health, safety and hygiene. How will we keep our children, parents and staff safe? What measures are we taking to stop the spread of the virus?
With so much information being circulated, we wanted to share what we are doing in our nurseries in terms of health, safety and hygiene which we hope will answer some of your questions and help put your mind at ease before sending your child back to nursery.
- All our nurseries now have a bespoke Covid-19 risk assessment in place and safe operating procedures. Each team member is given these documents ahead of commencing work so that awareness and understanding of Covid-19 specific risks and safety procedures are adhered to.
- We are limiting the movement of both staff and children around the buildings and ensuring children stay with their designated carer for the majority of the day. This will help to limit the spread of germs within the nursery.
- We have increased the amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that we have on site. We have disposable masks and visors for use if anyone becomes symptomatic.
- If anyone on site does become symptomatic, we will utilise an isolation room and the cleaning of the space will commence as soon as the potentially affected person has left the premises.
- Team members are to utilise the testing facility if required.
- Hand washing for the minimum of 20 seconds continues to be the recommendation whenever a staff member has entered or left a room or following any contact with surfaces. We continue to promote ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ following the use of a tissue and the bins will be emptied more frequently.
- We ask anyone with coronavirus symptoms or living with those with symptoms to stay away from the nursery and follow the government guidelines.
- Our shielding team members or those that are categorised as clinically vulnerable remain at home.
- We have asked all our team members as well as families to travel to nursery by car, foot or bike where possible and to avoid public transport, following the current government guidance.
- We have implemented additional protective measures to include dropping off and collecting from the entrance of the nursery in order to reduce the number of people entering the nursery itself.
- Robust cleaning procedures have been implemented to include the frequent cleaning of regularly touched surfaces in order to kill any germs that remain on nursery surfaces. Soft furnishings and surfaces across the nursery have been removed as these are difficult to clean properly. Bedding is also being washed daily following each child’s use.
- We have signage inside and outside of the nursery to remind all entering communal areas of the 2 metre rule and to avoid gathering.
- We are recommending that wherever possible our team members comply with the 2 metre rule. This is in relation to adult interactions; we cannot expect children to be able to socially distance. We will ensure, however, that our teams are good role models for supporting the children in their hygiene practices. Team members will use the staff rooms for breaks only if social distancing is possible.
- We are limiting the number of children per table at meal and activity times to ensure children have personal space.
- We will utilise the outdoor space and gardens in small groups to avoid cross contamination but also to ensure children and staff get plenty of fresh air and are still able to enjoy our outdoor areas. Windows will be open throughout the nursery to ensure good ventilation in all rooms.
- We have removed food play and self-serving of meals by children to reduce the potential for the spread of germs through touch.
- All entrance halls have antibacterial hand gel for anyone that enters and exits the building.
- We are asking that your child’s nursery bag remains at nursery with an increased supply of spare clothing in order to avoid germs being transmitted between home and nursery and visa versa.
- Our teams are encouraged to come to work in non-uniform and change on site, we will launder their uniform at the end of the day so that they can leave in the clothing that they wore to work again to reduce the potential spread of the virus.
- When carrying out care routines, such as nappy changing and bottle feeding, our staff will ensure stringent hygiene procedures, including the use of PPE.
We continue to be guided by Public Health England and the updated government guidance.