All our centres are committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of all children, employees and families by minimising the risk of COVID-19 exposure. We strictly adhere to the guidelines and advice provided by the Department of Health, Department of Education and Public Health Units and our centre policies.
To prevent the spread of viruses, it is everyone’s responsibility to practice good hygiene, social distancing and staying away from others if you are unwell. Whilst our staff are adhering to these practices where possible, social distancing is a near-impossible strategy to implement in the early childhood setting, let alone not emotionally the right thing to do for young children. Week commencing 6 April we will be implementing some strategies that will furthermore reduce the opportunity for germs to spread within the Centre. These changes are as follows:
- Sleeping/rest time outdoors is to be encouraged (weather dependent obviously)
- At rest time, beds to be at least 1.5 metres apart
- Children are to sleep ‘top-to-toe’ (alternating sleeping positions so they aren’t breathing towards each other’s faces)
- Smaller groups for mealtime. Allowing for appropriate social distancing space between the children at the tables.
- Group time to be run with smaller groups. No more than 5 children in a group at a time, if indoors. The children are to be positioned appropriately for social distancing during group time.
Signs of illness
- The temperature of all children will be checked three times a day
- When they arrive at the Centre. This does not need to be done at the entrance but does need to be done prior to our parents leaving the centre
- After lunch, before rest time
- At the time of departure
- If a child has an elevated temperature (38°C or higher), where possible we will remove them from where the majority of the children are situated, into a quiet space. The temperature is to be taken 2 more times (every 10 minutes) before confirming an elevated core temperature. If the child’s temperature remains elevated for all three readings, the parents will be called and the child is to be collected from the centre asap
- Similar practices have been introduced for staff. See details under the ‘staff’ section
- Review hand hygiene technique with the children. We will be providing and reminding all our children with ongoing education
- Educator to supervise handwashing before mealtime.
- Review cough/sneeze etiquette with the children. Monitoring of this is occurring
- Maximise the amount of fresh air in rooms; window and doors to be left open where & when possible. This, of course, is to be regulated by children’s temperatures and maintaining a comfortable environment
- Increase in the regular cleaning and sanitisation of all hard surfaces including floors, tables, chairs, trolleys and toys
- At the conclusion of each session, our educators will be sanitising all hard surfaces in each room via a spray pack containing commercial-grade sanitiser, this product is a spray and dry style ready for the next day’s attendance by the children
- Our educators will be encouraged not to leave the centre for breaks, however, if an educator does leave the service for a break, they are to follow social distancing regulations at all times
- The temperature of staff will be taken at the start and end of their shift. If they have an elevated temperature (greater then 38°C), they will isolate in a space not used by the children and their temperature will be taken two more times, 10 minutes apart. If their temperature remains elevated, they will be asked to leave the premises immediately and the rooms that they have been in will be sanitised
- We will provide support and ongoing monitoring of all our educator’s health during this very difficult time
Together we will beat this.