5th June 2020
Opening of Happy Little Bunny Nursery
Safe Operating Procedures
It is important that everyone complies with the latest Government guidance on Coronavirus.
We have developed these Safe Operating Procedures based on guidance from the Department of Education and Public Health England specifically for Early Years. 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 of everyone.
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 this reopening 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 and the lockdown has had an impact on everyone.
Everyone involved in the day to day running of the nurseries will receive appropriate instruction and training on how to operate under the terms of the Safe Operating Procedures.
There is always a risk when children come into a childcare setting but we are doing everything possible to minimise this risk. We are constantly updating our procedures to take account of any changes in government or local authority guidelines.
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:
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.
It is important that you seek medical advice if you are unsure.
It is important that children do not attend nursery if unwell for their own wellbeing and for the safety of others.
If anyone is experiencing any symptoms they cannot return to nursery until they have completed the required isolation period and be symptom free or have achieved a negative test result (proof will be required). Prompt exclusion is essential to preventing the spread of infection. Children and employees who are classed as clinically vulnerable should follow their 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.
2.1 Drop off and collection of children
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 2 metres apart. It is preferable if only one parent does the drop off and collection.
Parents will be allocated a suggested time for arrival and drop off to ease pressure in the car park or waiting outside. Please approach the nursery slowly when driving as there will be parents and children waiting to enter. If you can walk to nursery, please do so.
Children will be assigned to a key family group based 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.
2.2 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 and, in particular, evidence of a high temperature and/or new continuous cough.
2.3 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.
3 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 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 sleeping.
3.1 Playrooms and groups
We aim to keep children in their groups which will be identified by their usual room name e.g. Puffins, but will be further defined by colour names for outdoor play in order to continue with the small group approach. We would only merge groups if there was no other choice.
We are fortunate that we already have a system in place of key family groups and so this arrangement will not be unusual for the children and will not interrupt their play.
The practitioners will organise designated areas, indoors and outdoors, for the children in their groups. Children will have access to the full range of activities that are considered safe at this time.
All employees will undergo a return-to-work induction and training on the new Safe Operating Procedures, with emphasis on good hygiene practices and maintaining social distancing.
3.4 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.
We know that this is a very unusual and worrying time for everyone. It is very important that at the forefront of this heightened awareness of safe operating procedures, we do not forget that care and consideration must be taken of the need to ensure that everyone within the nursery community feels safe and secure. We will try our best to create a normal nursery environment and hope that you will bear with us.
We will be concentrating on fostering those secure attachments and, whilst we will be constantly observing and assessing the children, we will not be posting online observations or carrying out lengthy handovers. We want our team to spend time with the children, playing and building their relationships.
We would always speak with you immediately if we had any concerns. If your child is expressing any concerns or worries, it is important that you inform the keyperson/Nursery Manager .
5.1 Settling in sessions/transitions
Parents may enter the nursery for the purpose of settling-in sessions, if not doing so would cause a child distress. The Manager will give further guidance on the day. It is important that social distancing continues to be maintained. The parents will not be able to spend time in the children’s rooms in order to minimise any risk of infection.
We will aim to organise groups of children who are due to transition so they can transition together. However, some children who were due to transition might need the reassurance of the family group they were part of in order to feel safe and secure and parents might prefer them to stay within a particular age group. The Nursery Manager will assist with this.
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 videoconference. There will be no parents’ evenings for the time being, nor any other mass events such as pre-school graduations.
5.3 Nursery show-rounds
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 Public Health England guidance prior to entering the building.
6 Health, Hygiene and Safety
6.1 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 .g. iPads, 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 washbasins are available, sanitiser will be available. There will be regular opportunities for hand washing throughout the day.
6.3 Use of Tissues
The children will be supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves and others safe and this includes sneezing into a tissue (or their arm if immediate) and then to dispose of the tissue.
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 employees and children should wear clean clothing every day. If you have travelled on public transport, it is advised that you change your clothing on arrival at nursery. Children should bring one bag with changes of clothing to last their weekly booking pattern and take it home with them at the end of the week.
6.6 Risk assessments
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.
6.7 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.
6.8 Resources at Nursery
Toys and resources that are difficult to clean will be removed, including cushions and soft toys. The children will only share toys and activities within their groups. We will aim to sanitise items at the end of each day.
7 Responding to a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19
7.1 A child
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.
7.2 An employee who displays symptoms
In the event of an employee developing coronavirus symptoms whilst at work, they will leave work as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance.
7.3 PPE Equipment
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
7.4 Reporting, testing and tracing
Everyone over the age of five, children, parents and members of their households, is now 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 group/bubble must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to nursery. Positive tests will be reported to Public Health England and Ofsted by the Nursery Manager.
If there is reasonable evidence that a positive diagnosis was caused by exposure at work, this will be reported to RIDOR.
The Government’s tracing app is a way of helping to protect everyone.
8 Further guidance
All at Happy Little Bunny
Happy Little Bunny Day Nursery
359 - 361 Sydenham Road,
London, SE26 5SL
Tel: 0208 676 7977
Happy Little Bunny Day Nursery
Cranmer Hall , Sylverdale Road
Croydon, CR0 4LD
Tel: 0208 680 0004
Please also use our contact form.