June 28 2020
Updated July 1 2020
Updated July 5 2020
Updated July 16 2020
Updated October 18 2021 for Winter 2021 with reference to rising cases and a new more infectious strain AY.4.2, which some are calling “Delta Plus”
Holiday Academy Day-camp and Forest schools (see specific FS policy) intend to use this policy to provide precautionary measures to minimise transmission risks of disease in the setting and community during an epidemic or pandemic. It is the basis for the epidemic/pandemic codes of conduct for staff, children, and parents.
With reference to:
Cavendish school COVID-19 policies and procedures
Coronavirus Act 2020, Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Government Briefings, Public Health England (PHE) and World Health Organisation (WHO). Advice from but not limited to, The Secretary of State, The Chief Medical Officer, Local Authority (LA) and Department for Education (DfE). The policy also has regard to Ofsted and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance where appropriate.
Aim of Policy
- This Policy defines and assists the operating arrangements in place within the day-camp that assures compliance with the Government requirements in relation to the outbreak of a pandemic such as COVID-19.
- This information builds upon our current procedures for areas such as Safeguarding, Child Protection and Equality and Diversity, however new practices may emerge as the situation continues.
- Please be alert to the fact that the policy and considerations may evolve and be built upon as the situation deepens and new precautionary measures have been introduced and practices have been reflected upon.
- As a day-camp this policy is to ensure the continuation of high standards of childcare practice and activities during this difficult time and to minimize and balance any negative effects on the children’s mental and physical health.
- The fundamental principles to be outlined in this policy are set out here to ensure physical distancing is enabled, the sure implementation of good hygiene practices with an isolation protocol to minimise as far as possible any contact with virus infection and any child/adult displaying symptoms.
- It states the protective measures put in place for children, parents and staff as best as possible to ensure the risk of transmission is reduced.
- We will continue to follow Holiday Academy policies/procedures, but this policy and the EYFS and school guidance will override.
The main areas under consideration are:
- Minimising contact with individuals who become unwell or are unwell
- Maintaining personal and respiratory hygiene (handwashing, catch it, kill it, bin it)
- Ensuring cleanliness of the environment (especially frequently touched surfaces)
- Minimising general contact and mixing
- The use of Protective and Personal Equipment (PPE)
- Parents following the correct Govt guidelines for infection control and isolation
Focus/ Areas of Consideration / Recommendations
- Only children who are symptom free or have completed the required isolation period should attend the setting.
- Holiday Academy will take temperatures of children on arrival. Parents will have agreed health requirements for entry into setting within the Terms and Conditions.
- Children will be organised into groups and given designated areas within the setting, and this will also involve the outdoor areas. Wherever possible the age-groups should not mix inside the building during the day as best as possible. This is to minimise contact with others.
- Children in groups should have the same staff team caring for them wherever possible to limit the amount of people coming into contact with each other.
- Staff must keep meticulous records of which group each child attends and the staff in contact with each group so that tracking and tracing is effective.
- Care routines including meal times and toileting should be within the space allocated to each age group wherever possible and reported to the manager for cleaning if not.
- The use of communal internal spaces should be restricted as much as possible and outdoor spaces should be utilised wherever possible.
- Cleaning touch points is required between age groups
- Sunscreen should be applied by the parents / carers before the child arrives in Summer.
Wellbeing and education
- Children should be supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular, effective hand washing, coughing into an elbow, using a tissue and adopting a catch it, kill it, bin it regime.
- Children displaying fever or other COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated and sent home.
- Children should be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering or have experienced as a result of Covid-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time whatever age the child is.
- EYFS framework for the younger children will continue to be delivered through play and adult led activities.
- Each child must have a water bottle to drink out of and refill as required. Staff must monitor and assist this to stop cross contamination with the tap. Water fountains must not be used.
- Cutlery and cups will not be lent by Holiday Academy to any child and staff will be allocated their own cups. This is to prevent cross contamination from using cutlery, crockery and cups. Staff will wash their own used resources thoroughly.
- Staff should only attend Holiday Academy if they are symptom free, have completed the required isolation period or achieved a negative test result. All staff and their household are eligible for testing if they display symptoms.
- Staff hours, days, and length of day may change in order to meet childcare demands and considerations within this policy.
Physical distancing/ grouping /safety
- Staff will complete a risk assessment checklist as usual before opening every day to address any risks from the virus and ensure sensible measures are in place to control risks.
- Staff to be informed of measures in place and sign a disclaimer to state they have read and understood Holiday Academy / Forest school policies and procedures as usual.
- Wherever possible staff should remain with their age group of children who they are allocated to.
- Each morning the staff will remind and guide the children in their care to adhere to the hygiene and safety measures.
- Emergency revisions to the EYFS may have been implemented which provides some flexibility on ratios and qualifications to make this feasible.
- Staff have been advised by the government not to wear PPE such as facemasks during their day (this is the choice of the member of staff though), but should continue to wear PPE at the usual times such as intimate care and wear disposable gloves and apron if completing one to one care. If supporting an ill child, a face mask and visor should also be worn if a 2 metre distance cannot be maintained. PPE will be supplied.
- After dealing with an ill child who displayed symptoms the staff member should continue to wear PPE and clean the affected area with disinfectant.
- All PPE should be removed and disposed of following current government guidelines, the staff member should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
- The staff member who supported the unwell child does not need to go home unless they are developing symptoms themselves.
- Social distancing must be maintained during breaks. This may be achieved through a range of strategies including the staggering of breaks and subdivision of spaces allocated to team breaks where possible.
- Staff may be required to be in charge and aware of specific rooms or areas including the outdoors to minimise their contact with surfaces etc. Staff will be responsible to ensure appropriate cleaning takes place and enough ventilation is in the room such as opening windows. If doors are open ensure the safety and separation of the children/groups is maintained.
- Staff members should avoid physical contact with each other including handshakes, hugs etc. and be aware of droplet infection by talking and laughing.
- Where possible, meetings and training sessions should be conducted through virtual conferencing.
- All staff members must receive appropriate instruction and training in infection control and the standard operating procedure and risk assessments within which they will be operating.
- Online training is available to allow their training levels to be maintained if appropriate.
- Parents must be fully informed of government COVID-19 guidance and protocols before sending their children to Holiday Academy day-camp or Forest school and commit to protecting the Holiday Academy and Cavendish school community by acting safely and adhering to Govt guidance, this policy and the booking system terms and conditions.
- Only parents who are symptom free and or have completed the required isolation periods will be able to drop off or collect their child. Parents must be aware each morning if their child has a temperature of 37.8c even if they are not feverish, or if anyone in the household is running a temperature.
- Fever reducing medication must not be administered so that the child or adult presents symptomless.
- Aim to minimise the ‘pinch points’ during the day and limit drop off and pick up to one parent per family.
- Arrange drop off and pick up at the entrance to avoid parents entering the venue unnecessarily.
- When parents are waiting to drop off or collect their child, physical distancing should be maintained in a safe area adhering to government social distancing policies. This is currently 2 metres unless you are wearing a mask.
- When at the entrance of the school or at the Forest school venues, Parents must give due consideration to families who wish to follow a higher level of distancing.
- Parents should receive clear communication regarding the role they play in the safe operating procedure and all measures being taken to ensure the safety of their children and themselves.
- Parents should inform Holiday Academy fully, clearly and in a timely fashion, of their circumstances, the household state of health, if they have administered any medicine to the child, if they plan to keep their child away, or if they are isolating.
- Attendance to the setting should be restricted to only children and staff as far as practically possible and visitors should not be permitted unless essential/sanctioned by the school. These essential visitors must follow Govt guidelines for COVID-19.
- Parents and carers should not enter the premises or use the facilities.
- Wherever possible staff and parents should travel to the venue alone, using their own transport or if possible, walk, with one person dropping off and picking up.
- If public transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed.
- Scooters and pedal bikes remain outside following school guidelines
- Outings to the local park on Fridays will be risk assessed each week depending on current conditions and guidance. The age-groups will continue to be separated when walking. Contact with the general public will be minimised at all times by walking single file to pass somebody etc, and the staff effectively protecting the group by communicating with the general public if they are too close. We are experiencing high numbers of children on Fridays and we can only go on an outing if the staff:child ratio is correct.
Hygiene and Health & Safety
- All children and staff must wash their hands in their respective toilet block for their group, for at least 20 seconds
- Upon arrival
- after any droplet contamination (any bodily fluids)
- after going to the toilet
- regularly throughout the day
- Children and staff members should be encouraged to wash their hands, or sanitize as required, this includes before and after eating food, after visiting the toilet or playing outdoors, after sneezing, blowing their nose or coughing into their hand and dealing with unwell people.
- Bodily fluid spills should follow the correct procedures as normal.
- An enhanced cleaning schedule must be implemented that includes furniture, surfaces and equipment and all staff are responsible in their area of work.
- Communal area, touch points, toilet blocks and hand washing facilities must be cleaned and sanitised as appropriate as well as being cleaned thoroughly every night.
- A deep clean may be needed after a child has become ill in the area they were waiting.
- Staff will be allocated on a cleaning rota as usual but be on extra alert.
- All waste must be disposed of every day as usual in a hygienic and safe manner following government and school guidelines, staff to be wearing gloves.
- Tissues must be immediately disposed of and placed in a bin with a bag, lid and foot pedal.
- Bodily fluids must be double bagged and disposed of in a bin with a bag, lid and foot pedal.
- The bags are stored outside for 72 hours, if appropriate, and then disposed of for collection as per school guidelines, or as appropriate.
- All items within the setting requiring laundering must be washed in line with NHS laundry guidelines.
- Items such as towels or any fabric must not be shared by children.
- The setting and all activity should be risk assessed before opening or going ahead to address the risks from the virus and due consideration given to any adaptations to usual practice. Sensible measures should be put in place and policies and procedures followed.
- It is expected that would include, but not be limited, to the suspension of learning experiences involving materials which are not easily washable such as malleable materials (dough, clay) and the suspension of the sharing of food and utensils.
- Cut down on the available resources.
- Remove anything which cannot be easily wiped down or washed at the end of the day.
- Government guidance is that PPE is not required for general use in early years settings to protect against COVID- 19 transmission.
- PPE should continue to be worn and disposed of as normal for nappy changing, one to one care and the administration of first aid.
- If a child shows symptoms, staff should wear a face mask, visor, disposable gloves and apron if a 2-meter distance cannot be maintained at all times. PPE should be disposed of following government guidelines
- Keep windows open where possible to ensure good levels of ventilation. If doors are opened ensure the children safety is maintained with entrance gates closed.
- Children should not be permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing. Anything that is brought in from home should remain in the box for their age group outside.
- All resources required for play and learning experiences of children should be regularly washed and/or sterilized/72 hours rotation. Any resources which are difficult to clean should be removed.
- Equipment used by staff such as stationary, phones, tablets etc. should be allocated to individual staff members where possible and cleaned regularly.
- Each bubble has their own cleaning equipment box.
Supplies Procurement & monitoring
- Holiday Academyshould ensure an adequate supply of essential supplies and contingency plans such as additional suppliers are in place to minimise the impact of any shortages of supplies.
- Holiday Academy will not be able to operate without essential supplies required for ensuring infection control.
Responding to a suspected case
- In the event of a child developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst attending the setting, they should be collected as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with the current NHS guidance.
- Whilst waiting for the child to be collected they should be isolated from others in a previously identified room or area, if possible with maximum ventilation.
- The staff member responsible for the child during this time should be a staff member from their age group. The provider may consider suitable PPE for this staff member such as the addition of face mask, visor disposable gloves and apron.
- The area should be thoroughly cleaned, immediately if the area cannot be left unvisited, and if the area can be left unvisited then cleaned after 72 hours.
- The person responsible for cleaning ideally should be the person dealing with the unwell child and should continue to wear their PPE. This should then be disposed of according to current government guidelines.
- In the event of a staff member developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst working at Holiday Academy, they should return home immediately, have a pcr test and isolate at home in line with the NHS guidance. They should follow current test and trace advice for themselves and their household.
Monitoring of this policy
This policy will be reviewed by the manager and new government legislation and policies will be incorporated appropriately as and when required or informed.