Welcome to our digital noticeboard where we will provide you with relevant information regarding COVID-19 and our new approaches to working through this pandemic to ensure the safety of our children, staff and families.
CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 GUIDANCE – BERTRAM NURSERY GROUP
As a childcare provider, we take health and safety in our nurseries extremely seriously. Considering the current outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have put together some information, all of which is based on Public Health England Guidance for Educational Settings and World Health Organisation advice.
What is Coronavirus? A coronavirus is a ‘type’ of the virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world with typical symptoms of coronavirus including fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
CURRENT ALERT LEVELS IN SCOTLAND
Safe Operating Procedures (SOP)
Nursery schools play an essential role in society and we must make adaptations to the way we work to keep our children, parents, and team safe during this time. The fundamental principle of this guidance is to ensure distancing between identified groups and to implement enhanced hygiene practices. The design of nurseries as relatively small communities with further subdivided rooms, greatly assists our ability to create physical distance between groups.
These Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) are based on Public Health England and Scotland, and the Department of Education guidance for nursery schools and their key workers.
Drop off and collection of children
To minimise traffic in the nursery, parents are asked to drop off and collect their children at the main entrance and not to enter the nursery unless necessary. Parents waiting to drop off and collect are asked to maintain social distancing by standing at least 2 meters apart at all times. An identified team member will be responsible for arranging handovers with parents.
This may not be the usual Key Person for a child. To minimise physical interaction, only key information will be shared on handover. The team member and parents should maintain physical distancing as much as practically possible.
Temperature and symptom monitoring
Routine temperature testing is not advised as a reliable method for identifying coronavirus. Parents and team members should follow the national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus:
- A new continuous cough and/or a high temperature
Travel to nursery
Wherever possible team members and families should travel to the nursery alone, using their own transport or by foot or bicycle. If it is necessary to share transport, journeys should be taken with the same individuals with the minimum number of people at one time. If public transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed. Face coverings are advised on public transport to help protect others.
Implementing social distancing
A level of physical interaction within nurseries is unavoidable. The key to reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission is to maintain small groups and minimise physical interaction between these groups.
Hygiene & Safety
Good hygiene and cleaning practices significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the coronavirus. Enhanced hygiene and cleaning practices must be implemented, rigorously followed, and validated.
An enhanced cleaning schedule must be implemented. Communal areas, toilets, touchpoints, shared resources and handwashing facilities must be cleaned and sanitised regularly. A senior person must be responsible for validating and recording cleaning schedules.
The rate of handwashing must be significantly increased. All team must wash their hands with soap and water upon each arrival to the nursery and children should be encouraged to do the same. Adequate supplies of soap and paper towels are provided at identified handwash stations. Hand sanitizer should only be used in areas where handwashing facilities with soap, water and paper towels cannot be provided. Hand sanitizer is not required after handwashing with soap and water. A hand sanitizer station will be provided for visitors to use.
Attending more than one setting
At this time we cannot accommodate children who attend more than one setting, unless asked to do so in agreement with the Local Authority. Where this is the case, a full Risk Assessment will be carried out in partnership with both the Local Authority and the other appointed setting.
Health and Safety
Care, Education and Wellbeing
Changes to Attendance
Where we are operating under restricted capacity and where demand is high, we may not be able to offer full or partial nursery provision to all our families, this includes current parents or new enquiries. However, where current parents decide not to retain or use their place, we will open these up for those who do.
Fees & Deposits
For those non-essential keyworker families accessing nursery in July for Scotland & England, your invoices will be prepared and sent to you as soon as possible.
England – From the 1st July, fees will be payable for anyone who has been offered a place and has agreed to use it, including if and where you have decided to hold your place for when you return. Scotland – From the 15th July, fees will payable only if you return to the nursery. If you do not return you will not be charged. However, from 1st August fees will be payable for anyone who has been offered a place and has agreed to use it, including where you have decided to hold your place for when you return.
Please note where demand is high, if you are offered a place and decide not wish to use it, unless you pay to retain your sessions we may offer these sessions to another family.
We would be grateful if you could kindly complete the survey which advises us of any changes to your child’s needs or routines.
We understand that there might be changes in your situation that's why we kindly ask families in Scotland to complete the form below
Updates from our CEO
Safer Play Groups
A way of grouping children at our nursery, keeping children and staff safe during the time of coronavirus by organising them into small groups and coordinating their routines, their movements, and their use of resources throughout the day. A safer play group will usually consist of children who would usually be in the same playroom/age group and are already known to each other.
- Reduce risk of transmission in children and adults
- Effectively manage instances of COVID-19 in the nursery. If a person tests positive for the virus, only the children and adults in the safer play group will be asked to self-isolate and seek tests where possible
- Reassure parents as to the control measures we are using within the setting
- Reassure staff that their health & wellbeing is being planned for daily
- Provides organisation and clear responsibility for staff in guiding and supporting children
Risk assessment for COVID-19 will focus on the questions that need to be asked so that we can create the most effective methodology
Every nursery must go through a risk assessment exercise before we can welcome children and staff in the premises
Before we complete the risk assessment in the nursery, we must ask who is doing what and how, where are they doing it, why are they doing it, and what are they using? Understanding the tasks or activities is vital to assess the exposure and to qualify any subsequent control decisions
We ask a lot of questions while assessing our nurseries: How can we maintain social distancing? Can we use alternative rooms to spread staff and children out? Where are our staff and children more likely to find it difficult to avoid one another such as the toilets, staff rooms, office? Can we phase break times? Can we place additional sanitising units in areas where most people commonly touch, such as handrails, doors, doors entry systems, keypads, iPads, phones, desks, kitchen equipment?
Cleaning is a vital control and must be high on your priorities: Have we considered how you keep commonly touched surfaces sterile and how more frequently they need to be cleaned? Have we updated the cleaning schedule to ensure all areas are being frequently and thoroughly cleaned? Are you using an effective strength of cleaner to kill the virus? Such as Selgiene Ultra.
Please read the full version of our risk assessment documents
Mailing List / Contact Us
For all our current parents please let us know if your email has changed or you are not receiving communication by emailing [email protected] Sadly some of our Nursery Managers are still on furlough and as such have no access to their emails. The central inbox is being monitored so we advise any parents to contact us via this email.
For all new enquiries:
- England – Please email us or enquire through our website. Our nurseries in England are taking new bookings as well as out of hour showrounds
- Scotland – Please email us or enquire through our website. Our central team will respond and update you as we receive updates as Scotland begins to re-open