Infection Control & Covid 19
At Clare’s Little Stars we will continue to safeguard your child’s needs for physical care and ensure that they all feel safe, that they belong, have fun and enjoy their experience with us. Social distancing between staff and children is not required within ‘play-pods/baubles’ and staff will continue to comfort, cuddle and play with children as normal.
Throughout the Corona virus outbreak, hygiene has been at the top of the list of measures to prevent the spread of infection. We know how important it is to minimise the risk of infection and as we reopen we are taking every workable step to help keep our setting as safe as possible. Having further updated and extended our Policies & Procedures, at Little Stars we have developed a detailed plan for the reopening of our service covering:
– Deep cleaning
– Health, safety and hygiene
– Implications for practice
– Safe spaces
– Planning to use outdoor spaces more
– Ordering and purchasing of additional equipment and signage for the service and not forgetting more toys!!!
The national protocol and guidance regarding Covid 19 must be respected by all adults at all times. See below: Public health guidance and regulatory requirements – general information from the Department which relates to the childcare sector:
Children have rarely been the person who brought COVID-19 into a household when household spread has happened. Children seem more likely than adults to have no symptoms or to have mild disease. Symptoms in children include cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhoea and vomiting. It is important for parents and for those who deliver early learning and care and school-age childcare to accept that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of the virus. However public health advice is that reopening is appropriate.
- If your child does not feel well – If your child has symptoms of diseases viral respiratory disease, even if they are mild, they must not attend a childcare setting. Likewise parents who have respiratory symptoms must not take their child to a setting or pick them up. Parents must not take their child to a childcare setting if a parent or anyone else in your home is suspected of having or known to have Covid-19, advised isolation periods must be respected. If your child becomes ill while attending a childcare setting, you must collect them as quickly as possible, contact your GP straight away and follow HSE advice
- Is it safe for children to return to childcare?
Settings have implemented a number of measures to limit the risk of infection including measures to prevent the virus being brought into the setting and to reduce the chance of spread of the virus in case it is inadvertently brought into the setting. They will focus on ensuring appropriate infection prevention and control. In this regard, it is important that settings and parents follow advice of the Health Prevention Surveillance Centre (HPSC). Settings will focus on the following in particular:
- hand-washing and ensuring that children learn good hand-washing techniques
- respiratory hygiene and ensuring that children learn good techniques
- ensuring good cleaning procedures in settings
- washing toys regularly
- spending more time outside with the children
- grouping children together in groups with the same staff members (‘play-pods’)
- Parents should follow the drop off policy.
Childcare settings will use a child friendly designated drop off and collection area. During this period, it is important that parents and guardians are physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children, procedures will be in place to get your child safely into and, away from the setting during drop-off and pick-up and no congregating is allowed.
- What is a Play Pod? The “play pod” model is a safe and playful approach to restricting interactions between closed groups of children and adults as an alternative to social distancing, which is not possible with young children. The purpose of ‘play-pods’ is to limit the number of people a child has contact with, to facilitate tracing, and to support close, positive interactions between children and their adult caregivers.
- Do not bring any toys from home:- Children should not bring their own toys from home. You can bring a comfort toy that helps your child. However, it is more important than ever that this toy is not shared with other children.
- Masks/Social Distancing.
Young children will not be expected to remain socially distanced from each other or the adults caring for them. Neither will they be expected to wear masks or be cared for by adults wearing masks. Adults may wear masks when they are not caring for children i.e. interacting with parents, during breaks. Infection risk should be minimised through children remaining within a small group (‘play-pod’) through the day.