Over the last week we have been busy planning the phased reopening of the pre-school and are excited to be able to welcome back more of the children. We are prioritising the children of ‘keyworkers’ and children who are classed as vulnerable at this moment in time. As and when the government guidelines change we will be able to review and adapt our practice. We will be in contact with those parents of children who are eligible to return shortly with more details, days and timings. We would like to take this time to thank you all for your understanding and patience at this unprecedented times.
Please note that all information below assumes that no change to the Government’s position between now and the week beginning Monday 1st June.
When will the pre-school be opening?
The pre-school will be open on Tuesday 2nd June at the earliest.
What days and times will the pre-school be open?
Pre-school will be open Monday to Thursday between 8:30am – 3pm.
Why is pre-school closed on a Friday?
The pre-school, Lymington Infants and Lymington Junior school will be closed on Fridays until further notice. This will allow essential planning and preparations for the coming week to be put into place, as well as enabling appropriate cleaning to take place before provision starts again on Monday.
Risk assessments and policies:
We have to follow government guidelines and have created a risk assessment to help us deal with this situation, the risk assessment is regularly reviewed and updated when necessary.
We are still following our pre-school policies and will adapt any if needed to help with the current situation.
How many spaces are available?
Due to the size of our room and taking into consideration the government guidelines on social distancing, we are only allowing a limited number of children and staff into the setting at one time. This is approximately one third of our usual capacity.
What will happen if I want a place for my child and there isn’t capacity?
At present all children who have been identified as a child of a keyworker or a vulnerable family have a place. Unfortunately at this moment in time we are unable to extend that further.
Will my child be with their keyperson?
We have tried where possible to keep the children with their keyperson, however this is not always possible. Please be reassured that children know all staff they are placed with.
Will there be extended provision (before/after school club)?
No, this is due to us being expected to running a ‘bubble’ system on site.
What is a ‘bubble’ system?
A bubble system is where only certain children and adults are grouped together, to limit capacity and to be able to adhere to social measuring guidelines. This system is also being used in the Infants and Junior schools to.
What measures do you have in place for handwashing/sanitising?
Hand washing remains the most effective deterrent in this crisis and staff will continue to ensure good hand washing routines for all children as follows:
- On arrival at pre-school
- When visibly dirty
- After using the toilet
- After coughing or sneezing into a hand, elbow or tissue
- When coming in from the garden
- Before food (snack & lunch)
- After lunch
- Other times as deemed necessary by the adults
We have also purchased antibacterial products, such as alcohol based hand gel. These products will be used by adults and children throughout the day (adult supervision at all times).
What additional cleaning measures are in place?
We have been advised by school that additional ‘deep’ cleaning and sanitising procedures are in place with our cleaning contractors which are being carried out every school day. The chemicals that they are using both clean and sanitise the school environment.
Our staff will be regularly cleaning the children’s toilets throughout the day, and bins will be emptied twice a day: once in the middle of the day and once again at the end of the day.
What are the rules on clothing?
Children must come into pre-school wearing clean clothes each day, this is to minimise the risk of cross-contamination between home and school. To make this easier for families to manage, there will be no preschool uniform until further notice. Staff members will also be wearing clean uniform each time they come into the setting.
What if my child is exhibiting symptoms?
If your child is showing any symptoms below your family must self-isolate as per the government advice for 14 days.
- A new, continuous cough
- A high temperature above 37.7 degrees
- A loss or change to sense of smell or taste
Before your child is allowed back into pre-school you will need to contact us to discuss readmittance.
What if a child or staff member develops symptoms during the day?
Children: Parents will be contacted for immediate pick up and the pupil will be sent to the isolation room with a supervising member of staff using additional PPE equipment as advised by the Government.
Staff: Will be expected to leave pre-school immediately and apply for the key worker testing immediately. If positive, they must self-isolate.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in the school or pre-school?
Where a child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.
Will PPE be mandatory for staff and/or children?
The COVID 19: Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings states that:
Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended.
The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases.
Parents are asked NOT to provide their child with a face mask as the correct viral control management of these is too complex to operate in a school.
What Social Distancing / Cross Contamination Measures are in place?
- Movement around the school is restricted and pre-school are only allowed to use; the pre-school room, patio and their own garden.
- The pre-school bubble will not be able to mix with other bubbles from the school environment.
- Pre-school will have its own entrance and exit.
- Children and staff will follow strict hand washing regime (as stated above).
- Staff will follow strict cleaning and sanitising procedures.
How will you implement social distancing and restrict interaction between children?
The government accepts that it is almost impossible to maintain social distancing in an Early Years environment, and the children are unlikely to understand social distancing, therefore it is unreasonable to expect them to follow the new rules. However, staff will make every endeavour to adapt their practice accordingly, e.g. limiting the number of chairs at an activity, splitting the children into smaller groups and spreading out within our permitted areas.
What are the arrangements for lunchtime?
Due to there being more children on site within the Infants school, we have made the decision to only allow lunchboxes until further notice, no hot dinners from school will be allowed.
Please ensure that your child’s lunchbox is clearly named and where possible be a plastic lunchbox (not a fabric one). Please ensure that your child has their own water bottle which is clearly labelled.
General lunchtime practice:
- In order to reduce the number of children sat around one table, more tables will be used and the children will be spaced out according to guidelines.
- All surfaces will be wiped down with antibacterial wipes before and after lunch.
- Children will wash their hands before and after eating.
- Children will need to be able to open their own lunchboxes and packets where possible.
- All plates, cups and cutlery will be washed thoroughly after each use, put to soak in Milton and air dried.
Can my child bring in toys from home?
No. In order to avoid the risk of cross-contamination, what children are allowed to bring to and from school has to be limited.
Will parents and visitors be allowed on site?
Visitors on site will be strictly limited to those deemed essential, including but not limited to, our maintenance contractors who will need to continue to ensure that the site is safe and well maintained.
Any essential visitors will need to self-declare of being asymptomatic, have their temperature checked and use antibacterial hand gel before gaining entry to the school.
Parents cannot be allowed to enter the preschool or school building at any time and must observing social distancing protocols at all times.
Can you still administer medication to my child?
If your child is feeling unwell during this period they MUST NOT BE IN SCHOOL.
However, for all other routine conditions where medication is required, please bring the medication and our medicine book must be filled out.
We know that this is going to be a different way of working for all of us for the foreseeable future, but please be assured that we will do our best to ensure this process is an enjoyable and happy time for your children. We understand that a child’s personal, social and emotional development is key in this process and will be focusing our practice to bring this to the forefront. More details will be sent out regarding the finer details within the next few days.
With very best wishes,
Jill and the pre-school team.