At First Steps we pride ourselves in maintaining the safety of all children and staff whilst they are in our buildings. We are currently open across both of our settings for all existing and new children. Both settings are up to date and following the current guidelines for COVID-19 ensuring that the risk is minimised for both children and staff.
We have an incredibly detailed and thorough risk assessment in order to reduce any risk of the spread of the virus.
If you have any questions or just wish to speak to us about the nurseries, we’d be very glad to hear from you.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice for Parents
Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.
Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when a child is unwell or injured. Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done.
Guidance for Staff, Visitors and Building Users
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
always wash your hands when you get home or into work
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
avoid close contact with people who are unwell
please wear a face mask when bringing your child to nursery or coming to collect them
touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
enter the nursery if you are feeling unwell or have been in close contact with any person who is unwell (staff should contact the manager to discuss)
Policy and Procedure
We have put in place a new policy and procedure in relation to Coronavirus. This is available for parents to request at any time.
At First Steps Nursery we have put together a risk assessment. This is regularly updated and shared on Class Dojo.
Q1. What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19?
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to nursery and should remain at home for at least 3 days following that start of symptoms. However, if you have access to LFT test your child could come back to nursery following a negative test after 24 hours.
Q2. Someone who lives with a child or staff member has tested positive. Can the child/staff member come to nursery?
Yes, however the person with Covid should not come to nursery to drop off or collect the child. If a parent develops Covid symptoms whilst your child at nursery please telephone nursery for instructions on how to collect your child safely.
Q3. A child or staff member has had close contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19. Can they come to nursery?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, new continuous cough or loss of, or change to, normal sense of smell or taste.
Yes your child can come to nursery. If they develop symptoms themselves they should stay at home and arrange a COVID-19 test.
Q4. Do I need to wear a mask when collecting or dropping off my child, even if this is from outside?
Q5. Will the nursery retain its usual opening times?
The nursery is operating on usual hours and we do not envisage that changing.
Q6. Are staff being tested?
In line with the current government guidelines staff do not need to be routinely tested anymore. Staff and children can be tested if they display symptoms. Staff should test if they feel unwell or develop symptoms of Covid-19. If staff test positive they will isolate for 5 days with the day they test classed as day 0.
Q7. My child has been displaying symptoms of COVID-19 what do I do?
Your child should self-isolate. Please contact the nursery so we are aware why your child is absent.
Q8. My child was displaying symptoms of COVID-19, so I got them tested but the test has come back as Negative, can they return to Nursery?
Yes, if your child has a negative result then they can return back to nursery providing they are well enough to attend. Please send a copy of the result via email to email@example.com. Please note if they were suffering with a temperature, they must have had a normal temperature for 24 hours before they can return to nursery.
Q9. I would like to return my child to nursery, what terms and conditions apply?
Exactly the same terms and conditions as applied before the COVID-19 pandemic apply, so please refer to your original contract.
Q10. In the event of staff shortages and the nursery not being able to provide childcare due to this reason, do I still have to pay?
No - although, we do not expect to have staff shortages at this time, but if a staff shortage did occur, and our staff ratios to children were at risk, then we would be forced to turn children away and you would not be charged.
We have been instructed to prioritise places for vulnerable children, followed by 3 and 4 year olds, and then younger age groups if we can not provide childcare for all children.
Q11. If my child is unable to attend nursery for whatever reason, can I use my funding at a later date?
No the funding is allocated to certain weeks and this will not be changed. For term dates please speak to nursery staff as they do differ from some local schools.
Q12. What happens if there is a confirmed case in my child’s room?
If there is a confirmed case of covid within your childs room we will inform parents via message on class dojo to allow parents to be vigilant. If we have several cases which appear to be linked we will contact Environmental Health for advice.
Q13. If there is a confirmed case in my child’s nursery and I choose not to bring them in, will I still be charged?
Yes, fees are still chargeable in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
Q14. Is it safe to bring my child into a setting if there has been a confirmed case?
There is an increased risk of infection from a confirmed case, but there is also a risk from children or staff without symptoms. However, we will track exactly which children and staff if any confirmed case and communicate this to all concerned.
The nursery will follow the guidance given by Public Health England as per any other notifiable virus, such as measles, mumps and scarlet fever, and staff will spend more time on cleaning and hygiene, and less on administration, record keeping and audit during this period.
Q15. Can my child have paracetamol or ibuprofen before attending nursery?
No. Any child that has had paracetamol or ibuprofen before nursery will not be able to attend for at least 4 hours after the time the medication was given.
The reason for this is that the medication can mask a temperature which is one of the main signs of Covid-19.
We recognise that there are situations when a GP may recommend paracetamol such as after a child has had a vaccination and we would request that you contact the nursery first and we can discuss a child’s individual circumstances before making a plan to move forwards that meets the childs needs.
Q16. Why can parents not come into the nursery?
We feel that allowing parents to come into the nursery puts a much bigger risk of exposure of Covid-19 as parents are under no obligation to tell us if they have Covid-19 and this could have quite a big impact on the nursery.
If any of our staff members do contract Covid then they must be off for a minimum of 5 days which could cause massive effects on the nursery such as us having to close rooms or refuse entry due to not having enough staff members in to adhere to the correct ratios.
We also have vulnerable children, staff and families to consider. They can still be at high risk despite vaccinations and should avoid contact with people who have had Covid-19 for 10 full days. We could not ensure their safety if parents came into the building.
It is our main priority at this time to ensure all of our children, staff and families are as safe as possible and that we are able to continue to run the nursery as efficiently as possible.
At this time the best way we can do this is to continue with our current Covid risk assessment and follow current protocol. We will continue to assess the risks and amend Covid restrictions when we feel this is appropriate and safe to do so.