As of June 1st 2020, Tops Day Nurseries are open to care for more children across the South Coast.
Health and Safety Manager Jo Penn and Operations Director Amy Alderson have been working hard to implement the plans now in place to cater for additional children.
When parents are waiting to drop off or collect their child, physical distancing should be maintained. Tape will be available on the floor to mark this out with posters displayed. Parents need to ensure 2-meter distancing maintained and avoid congregating at the entrance.
Going forwards, parents will be dropping children off at the door and handwashing stations have been set up in all reception areas to enable staff and children to wash their hands upon entry to the nursery. We have minimised drop off’s to one parent per family and drop off/pick up times have been staggered due to flexible shifts.
Attendance to the setting is restricted as far as practically possible for visitors. Contractors and maintenance staff are not permitted to the nursery unless essential. Where essential visits are required, these are either outside of the usual nursery operational hours or areas of the nursery are accessed when not used or where social distancing can be maintained.
Children are supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular hand washing and sneezing into a tissue, with staff role modelling the key NHS guidance. Children are also supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of Covid-19 and staff are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time. A link to ‘my happy mind’ has been sent out with activities that will support children with anxiety and mental health and discussions have been held between the operations team and managers.
Our Managers and skilled Early Years Teachers have been using their creative skills to re-design rooms and change layouts to enable smaller groups of children to play together, whilst avoiding contact with other groups. Managers have also worked out where possible smaller groups (bubbles) of children within the rooms and also where possible ensuring the same children and staff within these bubbles, to maintain high standards of safety.
We have requested that children do not bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing (parents to provide comforters for nursery use only if possible). From June 1st 2020, we requested that no packed lunches are to be bought into the nursery with children, due to the volume of items entering settings and the real risk of contamination. At lunchtime, self-service has been suspended and children accessing their own to plates and cups. Lunches are also staggered where possible.
Deep cleaning has been implemented daily to ensure furniture, surfaces, children’s toys and equipment, communal area, touchpoints, hand washing facilities and tablets are cleaned and sanitised. All resources required for play and learning experiences of children are regularly washed and/or sterilized in line with hygiene and infection control procedures.
Tooth brushing programme and cooking school has been cancelled until further notice.
Within the early years sector, it is practically impossible for colleagues to social distance themselves from children. If a child needs a cuddle, we will give them a cuddle. We will continue to provide the same high standard level of care, just with extra measures in place.
Colleagues will use professional judgement on children struggling to adjust back into nursery and we will need more time to settle back in to the setting. The 2-meter rule still must to be followed and one parent to settle at a time to minimise contact between the parent and other children and staff members. Options can be other rooms used for settling or the garden area dependent on the setting, staff and what works for settling that particular child. Colleagues will be teaching the children about social distancing, using their hands outstretched to give them an idea of distance they should have from others.
We recognise the value of children’s education and look forward to welcoming back more of our families, why not check out our blog on the value of nursery education? Click here to read.