COVID-19 Policy 2021
(Revised August 2021)
It is important that everyone complies
with the latest Government guidance on Coronavirus.
Smallville Nursery has developed these Safe
Operating Procedures based on guidance from the Department of Education and the
National Institute for Health Protection specifically for Nursery. It is
important that we adapt our everyday practices to ensure that we continue to
offer the staff and children a safe environment. Hygiene and social distancing
remain the two key elements of infection prevention and control. If any
symptoms are displayed, families must be alert and self-isolate for the safety
COVID-19 appears to affect young children less often
and with less severity. Children’s role in its transmission is unclear but it
seems that it is not significant.
Compassionate leadership is at the heart of offering
continued nursery care and we will do everything we can to be honest, open and
to communicate with you. There will be a lot of anxieties and we acknowledge
that it is OK to feel worried and that COVID-19.
Everyone involved in the day to day running of the
nursery will receive appropriate instruction and training on how to operate
under the terms of the Safe Operating Procedures.
We aim to work in partnership with parents and trust
that everyone understands and follows these Safe Operating Procedures.
The key principles of these procedures are:
child, staff member, parent or visitor with coronavirus symptoms must not
attend nursery and must isolate at home
cleaning processes are in place, throughout and at the end of the day
and team members will be social distancing as far as possible
will each day stay in ‘a bubble’ with a buddy group working alongside to ensure
continuity of staffing and children
will be in place inside and outside
and departure may be staggered and children will be dropped off at separate
entrances, where this is possible.
will not come on site or visit the nursery rooms unless this is explicitly
arranged with the Nursery Manager e.g. in the event of a child being distressed
process for settling in sessions will be managed away from the other children.
In full lockdown situations first settling sessions may have to take place via
and staff members will wear masks during drop off and collection at nursery
members who ‘cross bubbles’ or move fluidly around the nursery will wear
appropriate PPE at all times.
Children and employees are welcome to attend nursery
but must not be displaying any coronavirus symptoms, the most common being a
new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of taste and smell. There
is some suggestion that mottled skin or sickness and diarrhoea can also be a
It is important that you seek medical advice if you
It is important that children do not attend nursery
if unwell for their own wellbeing and for the safety of others. Children will
not be accepted to nursery if they have been given Calpol or any other
medication that can mask fever symptoms, at parents’ discretion, after 4am on
their day of attendance (after 9am for children with afternoon bookings).
Anyone who is experiencing any symptoms cannot
return to nursery until they have completed the required isolation period, in
line with government guidelines, and be symptom free or have achieved a
negative test result (we politely request evidence of this to be sent to the
nursery). Prompt exclusion is essential to preventing the spread of infection.
Children and employees who are classed as clinically vulnerable should follow
their own medical advice before attending nursery.
It is preferable that your child only attends one
setting to avoid mixing with different groups of children. Please speak with
the Nursery Manager if this is going to be a problem or to make them aware that
this is the case.
Drop off and collection of
Parents are asked to drop off and collect their
children at designated entrances and not to enter the nursery. Whilst parents
are waiting, it is important to maintain social distancing by keeping a
distance of two metres apart. It is preferable if only one parent carries out
drop off and collection. Parents are requested to wear masks and handovers will
continue to be predominantly outdoors. Nursery staff will also wear masks at
drop off and collection.
Children will be assigned ‘bubble’ on the room they
are in and a team member from that group will be responsible for collecting and
delivering that child back to the parents. We will give you a limited handover,
unless there is an important issue to discuss, as other parents may be waiting.
If you wish to speak to your child’s key worker in more detail please contact
the nursery directly.
Temperature and symptom monitoring
Routine temperature testing is not recommended as a
reliable method for identifying coronavirus. Parents and employees should
follow the NHS guidelines regarding isolation and testing criteria.
Smallville Nursery is very conscious that during the
colder, winter months young children will get temperatures to help them to
fight cold and flu symptoms. Snotty, red eyed, catarrh filled coughs are not
thought to be symptomatic for COVID-19 and may not indicate that a child needs
to undergo a coronavirus test. Staff members will monitor the children in their
care and will make reasonable judgements on whether a family is advised to
undergo testing. We ask that families do the same and monitor their children's
wellness, making the decision if they need to isolate, undergo testing, or are
well enough to attend a nursery setting. If a child has a dry, continuous cough
or a persistent temperature (over 24 hours) accompanied by flu or cold symptoms
they will still be asked to book a coronavirus test.
If your child is due vaccinations Smallville Nursery
will ask for evidence of this by sharing the child's red book to justify a
Children who have asthma or other breathing related
difficulties should be known to nursery staff and can attend nursery as usual
with their medical plans in place.
If a child needs a routine medical appointment, we
are asking parents that wherever possible this is booked on a non-nursery day or
at the end of the child’s session. If this is unavoidable the child will be
allowed to return to nursery after the appointment, provided they are fit and
well in themselves.
Travel to nursery
It is better not to share transport and to travel by
car, bike or walk. Face coverings have been advised by the Government for use
on public transport.
Travel outside of local area
If you travel internationally to a country not on
the travel corridors list or to an area of the UK under local COVID restrictions,
and are displaying symptoms, then you must be tested and have a negative result
before returning to nursery. This is to ensure every possible protection factor
is in place for the staff and the children in our care. While we understand the
practicality of this may seem difficult for some, we will continue to put the
safety of everyone first and this is a precautionary measure that we have
chosen to have in place.
We ask that you are aware of the restrictions in
place and the tier rating of any area that you are visiting is in and follow
government guidelines for any travel in and out of the area.
If you have travelled to a country or area of the UK
under local COVID restrictions you can opt in to pay for a private COVID-19
If you are travelling from a destination not on the
travel corridors list, do not have a job that qualifies you for a travel
exemption or do not want to opt in to test to release, you will need to
self-isolate for 10 full days after you were last in a destination not on the travel
Implementing social distancing
It is very difficult to avoid a level of physical
interaction with young children and it is important to have their wellbeing at
the centre of everything we do. If a child is in need of a hug, then it would
not be fair to deny them this. To help with social distancing the children will
be grouped in small groups (a bubble) with a practitioner and this group will
work alongside a buddy group to ensure that an adult is always available.
Social distancing will also apply to coat pegs, seating arrangements and
As always, children will eat in their rooms. The
practitioners will serve the children.
All employees will undergo regular induction and
training on the Safe Operating Procedures, with emphasis on good hygiene
practices and maintaining social distancing.
Fire drills and lockdown practice
If we have to respond to a fire or emergency
lockdown, we will continue to manage social distancing, as far as possible. The
safety of the children and employees will always come first.
Settling in sessions/transitions
Parents may enter the nursery for the purpose of
settling-in sessions, the Manager will give further guidance on the day. It is
important that social distancing continues to be maintained. Where possible
this will be conducted outside.
Visitors to the nursery will not be encouraged
unless it involves a safeguarding issue that cannot be resolved by telephone.
Interviews or meetings will be conducted via video conference. Parent’s
evenings will still be organised but will be conducted over the telephone.
Prospective parents should make use of the nursery
website for information relating to the ethos and organisation of the nursery.
There are videos showing the nursery and also the activities that take place.
The Nursery Manager will be able to give you all the information you require.
Any contractors to the nursery will be reminded of
National Institute for Health Protection guidance prior to entering the
building. Non-essential visitors will not be allowed on site during lockdown
and will need to be rearranged.
Health, Hygiene and Safety
Reducing the spread of the virus
It is recognised that good hygiene and cleaning
practices will significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the virus as
well as everyone being alert to the symptoms. Doors and windows will be opened
as much as possible.
An enhanced cleaning schedule will be implemented
throughout and at the end of the day. Communal areas, door handles and shared
facilities, must be regularly cleaned. The Nursery Manager will be responsible
for recording these cleaning schedules.
The rate of hand washing must be significantly
increased. Everyone, including children, must wash their hands on arrival at
nursery. If no wash basins are available, sanitiser can be used. There will be
regular opportunities for hand washing throughout the day.
The children will be taken to the toilets and supervised.
Hand washing signs will be displayed to ensure hand washing is thorough and the
practitioners will talk to the children about why we are washing our hands.
All risk assessments will reflect the risk of
transmission of COVID-19. Certain activities will be adapted or removed to
reflect this risk e.g. going on trips using coaches.
Items from home
If your child requires a comforter e.g. soft toy or
blanket, please bring it in a bag and then take home at the end of the day and
wash it. We would prefer no toys or comforters to be brought into nursery but
do understand that this could cause distress.
Resources at Nursery
Toys and resources that are difficult to clean will
be kept for play with only one bubble group.
The children will only share toys and activities within their groups. We
will aim to sanitise items at the end of each day. Furnishings (i.e. cushions,
rugs, dressing up clothes) can move between bubble groups after being washed or
disinfected and left for 48 hours.
Responding to a person displaying
symptoms of COVID-19
If a child is suspected of displaying coronavirus
symptoms whilst attending the nursery, they should be collected as soon as
possible and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. The child must be
tested before they return.
Whilst waiting to be collected, they will be
isolated from others in a designated area. An employee will stay with them and
will wear PPE.
If the child becomes very unwell, we will follow our
normal emergency procedures and call 999.
The isolation area will be cleaned once the child has been collected.
An employee who displays symptoms
In the event of an employee developing coronavirus
symptoms whilst at work, they will leave work immediately and isolate at home in
line with NHS guidance. They will be required to have a test before they
Government guidance is that PPE is not required for
general use in nurseries to protect against COVID-19 transmission. Hand
washing, effective cleaning and social distancing are the most effective
measures. Gloves and aprons will be used for nappy changing and first aid.
Aprons will be worn at mealtimes
Reporting, testing and tracing
Everyone is eligible for a COVID-19 test, should
they display coronavirus symptoms.
Any suspected or confirmed case must be reported to
the Nursery Manager as soon as possible. If a positive result is confirmed, the
practitioners and children associated with that bubble must self-isolate for 10
days before returning to nursery, regardless of whether they have a negative
test result themselves. Positive tests will be reported to the National
Institute for Health Protection and Ofsted by the nursery.
Smallville Nursery is responsible for contacting the
National Institute for Health Protection if a case is confirmed or if a
symptomatic person is admitted to hospital, a possible case refuses testing,
there are a cluster of possible cases/unexpected increase in absenteeism or a
suspected case has a definite link to a confirmed case.
If there is reasonable evidence that a positive
diagnosis was caused by exposure at work, this will be reported to the National
Institute of Health Protection.
If someone in your household, or someone
you have close contact with, is contacted by track and trace or is told they
have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you do not need to
be tested. If they test positive, then you will also need to self-isolate for
10 days even if you do not test positive yourself. You should only book a test
yourself if you develop symptoms.
The Government’s tracing app is a way of
helping to protect everyone.
Download Covid-19 Policy