Little Learners staff are working hard to make sure we can safely welcome children back to Little Learners Pre-School and Nursery from 1st July 2020
As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the government have identified that their five tests have been met, advising that is safe to start opening early years’ settings as long as strict safety practices are in place, such as restricting children to a small ‘bubble’ (or group) of friends. You can read what actions we are taking to make sure we are prepared in line with the government’s guidance here along with the guidance we will follow to protect your children here.
How many children will be in each ‘bubble’ (group)?
This depends on their age, but there will be a maximum of eight children per group, with two consistent members of staff.
St Nicholas Ave, Elm Park
Currently* we anticipate that there will be a maximum of:
- 6 babies per bubble, with two consistent members of staff
- 6 toddlers per bubble, with two consistent members of staff
- 8 two-three year olds per bubble, with two consistent members of staff
- 6 or 7 three-five year olds per bubble, with two consistent members of staff
*Please be aware that these figures may change as different children return to nursery. However, your child will always be with the same children, up to a maximum of 8 children per bubble.
Will the same staff consistently work with just one bubble and how will you decide which staff will work with each bubble?
Nursery hours have temporarily been slightly reduced to 8am – 6pm to allow staff to complete their shifts, from either 8am – 5pm, or 9am – 6pm. The children will remain in their age group rooms and bubbles all day, except when there is outside play in their own bubbles with no mixing between groups. Your child will be with their key worker. Two staff members will work with each bubble. When it is sleep time, the two staff members will take turns to have a break; one will always remain with the sleeping children.
In the morning, rather than sharing their breakfast together, children will go straight into their age group room (bubble), taking their packed lunch and any belongings with them. Everything will be provided in the children’s rooms/bubbles. Staff won’t be using the kitchen or staff room, and so will only mix with the one other staff member and the children in their bubble.
How will social distancing work?
Both Ofsted and government guidance recognises that social distancing between children is very difficult to enforce. Guidelines advise to socially distance where possible and appropriate. Within Little Learners this means that staff will wear gloves and aprons while caregiving and will maintain the correct social distance from other staff and children when they can.
Will staff still comfort my child if they are upset?
If a child becomes upset, staff will comfort them as they have always done, with the additional measures of wearing PPE along with a strict regime of regular handwashing.
Will staff wear facemasks?
Children generally find facemasks very scary and traumatic, and government guidance is that facemasks should NOT be worn in nurseries – so our staff will not be wearing them.
Are comforters or dummies allowed in nursery?
Yes, they will be treated in accordance with our strict hygiene procedures.
Will staff still apply sun cream to my child?
Yes, in accordance with our strict hygiene procedures, sun cream will be applied by the staff member who works in your child’s bubble. Each time staff apply sun cream, they will use NEW gloves. The gloves are there both to protect the staff, but also prevent any potential spread of the virus from child to child. In addition, staff will either wash their hands according to guidelines, or use hand sanitizer in-between each new application.
How will you provide activities for the children and ensure safety while sharing equipment
The sand and water play will be removed, along with all soft furnishings including dressing up clothes, teddies and cushions. However there are many creative alternatives which, with some strict hygiene procedures in place, will be great fun. For example, painting or making individual balls of playdough for each child. Cutters, rolling pins and paintbrushes will be washed in an anti-bacterial solution as soon as children have finished playing with them.
What if a child or staff member develops a temperature or any of the coronavirus symptoms while at nursery?
Anyone, regardless of their age – including staff, children or their families can ask for a test through the NHS website. If they are at nursery, any child or staff member who becomes unwell with coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) will be separated from the other children. You will receive a phone call asking you to collect them immediately and your entire household will be required to self-isolate at home according to government guidelines. For the protection of others, your child may only return to nursery once a negative result can be evidenced.