Hatch Warren and Kempshott Under Fives Preschools are busy planning for a possible reopening in June. We have received responses from families and are now at our maximum safe capacity for opening. Although we cannot currently accept any additional children into preschool, advice is changing almost daily so we will be reviewing this as time progresses. If you wish, at a later date, to bring your little one into preschool, please contact us so we can make the necessary arrangements to accommodate you.
The Government has a carefully planned timetable for lifting restrictions, with dates that should help people to plan. This timetable depends on successfully controlling the spread of the virus. As you know, on 11 May 2020, the Government released detailed guidance stating 01 June 2020 as the current working date for when all early year’s providers could begin welcoming back all children, if infection rates continue to decline. This date is provisional and is subject to change based on scientific advice.
We are currently working hard to prepare preschool and put in place a detailed risk assessment and processes to ensure we can open safely. With this in mind we will be holding a staff training day on Monday 01 June with an additional Health and Safety risk assessment day on Tuesday 02 June. We aim to reopen on Wednesday 03 June if we are told it is safe to do so.
Key worker and vulnerable Families
We will continue to support these families and will continue to offer our normal opening hours. These children will be together in a small group in the garden room.
Access and arrangements
We need to consider the number of children we are able to safely provide care for. It will be also necessary to amend our start and end times. Drop off and collections will take place via the side gate directly into the garden where a member of staff will direct you either into Bunnies or the Garden Room. Please ensure social distancing is adhered to when you drop off and pick up children.
We will have a staggered drop of time between 9.00 am and 9.30 am as well as a staggered earlier pick up time of between 1.00 pm and 1.30 pm.
Admissions and Group Sizes
The Department for Education guidance states that `Where the physical layout of a setting does not allow small groups of children to be kept at a safe distance apart, we expect practitioners to exercise judgement in ensuring the highest standards of safety are maintained. In some cases, it may be necessary for providers to introduce a temporary cap on numbers to ensure that safety is prioritised’.
We need to consider the number of children we can safely provide care for whilst maintaining social distancing principles and adhering to the Early Years Foundation. Therefore we are currently giving priority to those children transitioning into school. We will continue to assess the situation, as per the Department for Education guidance and will look again at offering spaces to our younger age group from 22 June 2020.
Risk Assessment and other policies
The Department for Education guidance states that `every setting should carry out a risk assessment before opening. The assessment should directly address risks associated with coronavirus (Covid-19), so that sensible measures can be put in place to control those risks for children and staff’. Our risk assessments will take place on Monday 01 June and Tuesday 02 June.
We have put in place a parent declaration which outlines the service we are providing and the standards we wish you to uphold, ensuring the safety of families, children and staff.
We know that early years children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible and we can achieve this and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children and staff only mix in a small, consistent group and that small groups stays away from other people and groups.
We will keep cohorts together where possible and:
·Ensure children are in the same small groups at all times each day and different groups are not mixed during the day, or subsequent days.
·Ensure the same staff are assigned to each group and, as far as possible, these stay the same during the day and on subsequent days.
·Ensure that wherever possible children use the same area of the setting throughout the day, with a thorough cleaning of rooms and resources at the end of the day. Our earlier finishing time will allow us time to clean.
Reduce mixing within the setting by:
·Accessing rooms directly from outside. We enter preschool via the side gate into either Bunnies or Garden Room.
·Staggering outside time to ensure children remain in their small group.
·Ensure toilets are monitored by a member of staff at all times to limit the number of children who use the toilet facilities at one time.
·Noting that some children will need additional support to follow these measures. We will use meaningful symbols and social stories to support them in understanding how to follow rules.
·Placing a cap on numbers of children in the setting at any one time. Additionally, children will then be split into 2 smaller groups. These children will remain in their smaller groups at all times each day and different group are not mixed during the day, or subsequent days.
Cleaning and Hygiene
For cleaning and hygiene, we will:
Ensure that sufficient hand washing facilities are available at all times. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser pumps will be on staff at all times.
Clean surfaces that children are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, more regularly than normal.
·Ensure that all children and adults:
Frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly
Clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
Are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
Use a tissue or elbow to cough and sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (catch it – bin it – kill it)
·Ensure help is available for children who have trouble cleaning their hands independently.
·Use songs, games and repetition to encourage children to learn and practice these habits.
·Ensure bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day.
·Spaces to be well ventilated using natural ventilation.
·Prop doors open, where safe to do so, to limit the use of door handles and aid ventilation.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The majority of staff will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need, even if they are not able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.
PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases, including:
·Children whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way.
·If a child becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus whilst in the setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home.
Sickness in preschool
If a child becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus whilst at preschool, they must be sent home. Whilst awaiting pickup they should be moved away from others attending preschool.
Anyone who has helped the child who became unwell does not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. Hands should be washed thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact and the affected area will be cleaned once the person has left.
If testing is carried out and the individual with symptoms tests positive, then the rest of their group within preschool should be sent home and should self-isolate for 14 days.
Additional supporting information can be found by following the link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june
Thank you for your understanding, patience, and of course for your support in these very difficult and challenging times. We look forward to welcoming our small groups from 03 June.