Coronavirus update August 2020

We recognise September will provide challenges but we wish to re-assure our parents that we will be opening at all sites for Before and After School Clubs and our Wrap Around Nurseries in September and we will manage the risk of the children’s groups.

We have updated our Risk Assessment based on the recent changes and will continue to do so as things evolve. You will have received some guidance specific to individual sites in the fee email for this academic year. We will update this page as often as we can and when we have new information to share.

Current Situation

Orchids has opened for the summer holidays, to date we have had no cases of Covid-19 from either staff or children. Should any parent, child or member of their household show symptoms then they need to follow the self-isolation guidance and inform the nursery as soon as possible. We also need to be advised if anyone in the household, including your attending child, has had a positive test.
We are aware that as more restrictions are lifted then the chances of the coronavirus spreading might increase. Should we have a positive test within Orchids then we are bound to follow the Test & Trace process which may involve children and staff being isolated at home (see further information below).

Orchids has in place serious rigorous infection control measures that has reduced the exposure for staff and children whilst in the setting, including:

• Good basic hygiene practices, including very regular hand-washing (practitioners, children and visitors)
• Handwashing for staff and children before and after any shared activities that involve their group of children.
• Restricting exposure to the children’s environments from parents and visitors.
• Regular sanitising of the restricted areas where parents hand over children.
• Staff covering any existing wounds or lesions with waterproof dressings.
• Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons, gloves are used as needed.
• There are procedures in place for rigorous cleaning of equipment and the environment, especially the ‘touchpoints’ such as door handles and table surfaces.
• awareness of infection control guidance, including the management of infections.

Parents are not currently allowed into the setting and hand overs occur at the door. Other visitors are limited to essential personnel only.

We will also remind children to wash their hands:
• When they arrive at the setting
• After outside breaks
• Before meals and snack times
• After using the toilet
• At the end of the day before they go home

Where we do not have immediate access to soap and hot water to hand at the time, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be used instead. These products will have at least 60% alcohol and will be kept out of the reach of children. We will minimise use of these with children themselves.

We discourage and raise awareness of everyone touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and we will not allow sharing of any items that come into contact with mouths such as cups and bottles.

Additional Control Measures When we open fully in September:

We ask parents to ensure they are distancing from each other when outside the building. This means to stay 2 metres apart and to not linger and talk to others. Where possible we will introduce a one-way in-out drop off to minimise contact. When this is not possible then we ask you to ensure that you give enough space to others at all times. Where we have more than one entrance, we will look to use these.

We will continue to monitor and review our systems and change them if they do not work in practice or could be improved. We are not asking parents to wear face masks at this time, although we will review this based on numbers around the site at any one time and of course government guidance.

Children should not be dropped off at our setting by anyone who is suspected of currently having the virus.

If you are sending in bags from home e.g. with spare clothes in then we would like these to stay at nursery or kids club for the week and go home on your last day for the week.
Children should not bring in any unnecessary items from home. We appreciate children do need comfort items, where these are of a fabric nature, we would prefer these to be replaced fresh every day.
We cannot socially distance young children and this is recognised with the planning guidance. For this reason, we will group the children accordingly. These numbers are not fixed and where appropriate we may need to increase. Staff themselves will social distance as much as possible during their working hours. Children are grouped in this way to minimise the total amount of contacts they have during any one day.

All children and families attending childcare settings are now able to be tested, whatever their age and as noted in the Planning Guidance for early years and childcare settings, section 4 which says:
Once early years and childcare providers open to more children, all staff and children who are attending a childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. Where the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation. If the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their immediate group within their setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

Therefore, if anyone does have a positive test within the group your child is in then you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days. However, if a child goes home with symptoms but does not have a test done, then the remainder of group will not be required to self-isolate. This is because children have coughs, and temperatures for a variety of reasons and a positive Covid-19 test is the only reason to self-isolate the rest of the group. This is the best practice government guidance that we will follow. Fees will remain payable for all periods of self- isolation.

We know that washing hands regularly with soap and water is THE best way we can prevent spread of the infection and so our risk assessment highlights that we will continue to be doing this frequently.

The health and safety of our staff is of great importance to us. All staff have been trained in our procedures and are expected to carry them out. Staff will wash their hands for 20 seconds, or sanitise them when they arrive to work every day. All staff will undertake regular handwashing throughout the day. Staff will wear fresh clothes every day, or change into work clothes on arrival.
Staff will not be required to wear additional PPE (personal protective equipment) other than they normally do for changing nappies or serving lunches. They may however choose to wear gloves during the handover periods. Staff do not need to wear face masks as the duration of contacts with other adults is minimal. Staff should wash their hands after sustained contact with any children, in order to reduce the risk to themselves from their own hands touching their face.

Staying Alert & Keeping Safe
Information for the public, and particularly for people aged over 70, people with certain health conditions and pregnant women can be found here