We would like to share with you some of the updated actions recommended by the government following the implementation of the tier system.
On 12 October the Department of Health and Social Care published information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are.
At all local alert levels, the expectation is that education and childcare provision should continue as normal.
The government has been very clear that limiting attendance at schools and other education settings should only be done as a last resort, even in areas where a local alert level is ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Attendance at nursery
Whether your child attends nursery, a childminder or another early years provider is your decision, but we do encourage you to take up a place for your child. Attending childcare can help provide a routine as young children develop their social skills.
You can check if your child is eligible for any of the free childcare entitlements on the Childcare Choices website. These are worth on average £2,500 a year to parents of 2 year olds and up to £5,000 a year to parents of 3 and 4 year olds.
Helping make nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges as safe as possible
Each nursery, childminder, school or college will do their own health and safety risk assessment as part of their planning for the autumn term.
As part of this, there are certain approaches that we have asked nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to implement that are essential to reduce health risks.
Actions that nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges will take
We have asked nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to:
- manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school or college, in line with current public health guidance – this means your child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days by their nursery, childminder, school or college (based on advice from their local health protection teams) if they have been in close, face to face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
- ensure that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating – this should be done for 20 seconds with soap and running water or hand sanitiser
- promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, to ensure good respiratory hygiene
- enhance cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often
Nurseries and childminders will also minimise contact between individuals where they can. This could mean using different rooms for different age groups and keeping those groups apart.
Actions you can take
Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:
- they are showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
- someone in their household is showing symptoms
Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.
If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
It is really important that you help nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to implement these actions by following the advice set out here and wider public health advice and guidance.
Providing happy, nurturing childcare for the hours you need, across over 30 nursery settings in: Babbacombe, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Charminster, Copnor, Fawley, Gillingham, Corfe Mullen, Havant, Lakeside, Lymington, Taunton, Newport, Poole, Portsmouth, Salisbury,
Southsea, Wareham, Wimborne, Winchester, and Yeovil.