Parkside COVID 19 Policy

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment, Health


Providers must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children, staff and others on the premises.  The provider must promote the good health of children attending the setting.


Policy statement

The health and safety of the children attending our setting, our staff, and the families of staff and children are of paramount importance, along with the safety of the wider community.  Children’s emotional wellbeing is of equal importance and will be supported as skilfully as possible within the necessary restrictions that need to be implemented.  Staff are trained in theraplay and nurture groups and will utilise these strategies to provide as safe, stimulating and nurturing preschool experience for all who attend.

These procedures are written in line with guidance from UK Government; the manager is responsible for ensuring all staff understand and follow these procedures, and for updating procedures as guidance may change.  The policy is additional to our general policies and should be viewed in partnership with them.  Some necessary measures may supersede our existing policies temporarily.  Where permanent changes are adopted, existing policies will be updated.

Risk Assessment

Our risk assessment process will be published on our website and via Tapestry and sent to parents via email with regular updates. 



  • The preschool will only open when the Government issues confirmation that it is safe to do so.  Preschool will close as and when necessary through local and national guidance.
  • Staff, parents and children must follow all necessary social distancing guidance, both at home and in preschool. This guidance may change; parents and staff must ensure that they keep updated and follow national guidance and strategies in relation to COVID 19 at all times.
  • Numbers of children may be reduced and or a phased return implemented after any necessary closures, to ensure that all necessary hygiene, and infection controls can be implemented and to manage staffing fluctuations that may be necessary. Places will be prioritised in the following order: vulnerable children, children of critical workers, children starting school in September.


Indoor and outdoor environment

  • The layout of the setting will change to encourage social distancing for everybody.  ‘Bubble areas’ will be set up indoors, that will allow small groups of children to play within their ‘bubble group’.  The outdoor area will be fully utilised and will form one of the ‘bubbles’.  ‘Bubble groups’ will be rotated throughout the day so that children can enjoy different resources and activities within their ‘bubbles’.  Freeflow play will be suspended so that children remain, as much as practically possible, within their ‘bubble’.


  • Due to lower staffing levels and to comply with social distancing, manning of external gates and exit/entry points during drop offs and collections may not take place.  Parents are asked to be especially vigilant when entering and leaving the premises.  Gates will be locked promptly and exit/entry points secured.

Infection controls – symptoms


  • Anyone experiencing any of three coronavirus symptoms MUST stay at home.  The symptoms are:
    1. A high temperature
    2. A new, continuous cough
    3. A loss of, or change to, sense of smell or taste
  • Children should NOT be given analgesia such as Calpol, or other ibuprofen/paracetamol products before attending preschool as this could mask symptoms of COVID.  The preschool reserves the right to refuse admission to children if this is not adhered to.
  • Staff, parents or children with any of the 3 main symptoms – high temperature, new, continuous cough, loss or change to sense of smell or taste will not be permitted on preschool site. 
  • Temperatures of staff and children will to be taken on arrival at preschool and then at 2 hourly intervals
  • If a staff member experiences symptoms while at work they will go home, parents will be contacted to collect their children and preschool will close for 2 weeks or until the results of tests are received that confirm a negative result.
  • If a child presents with symptoms they will be taken to a separate room with a staff member who will wear PPE, parent of the child will be contacted to collect the child and the rest of the parents contacted to collect their children. Preschool will close for 2 weeks or until the results of tests are received that confirm a negative test.
  • If a diagnosis of Covid is confirmed all necessary bodies will be informed, including Ofsted, Public Health England and in the case of staff contracting the virus, Riddor.
  • We advise and expect parents and staff to fully support contact tracing measures and to follow the advice given, should they be contact traced.  Parents must inform preschool if they/or any member of their household has been advised to self-isolate.


Infection controls – track and trace


  • All users of and visitors to the setting will be required to fully support any Track and Trace guidance measures, including self-isolating.
  • Any contact for Track and Trace must be declared to the setting, with relevant measures explained, including contact relating to other members of the persons household
  • The preschool will also declare to users of and visitors to the setting should any staff member need to follow Track and Trace instructions.



Infection controls – other household members


  • Staff MUST declare if they have a member of their household displaying signs of COVID-19 and may NOT come into preschool.
  • Parents MUST declare if they have a member of their family displaying signs of COVID-19 and may NOT come into preschool.


Shielded and clinically vulnerable adults and children


  • Some adults and children are advised not to attend.  If this is the case the preschool would not require staff to work and would not permit the attendance of those children affected.


 Social distancing


 Staff, children, parents and visitors will be permitted to wear face coverings and masks if they wish.


Social Distancing – Visitors


  • Children and staff will be the only persons to enter inside the preschool area of the building during operating hours.  No other visitors will be permitted unless absolutely necessary and by arrangement with setting manager.
  • Anyone using main doors to the building e.g. hall committee members, will inform preschool manager of time and date of entry.


Social distancing – parents

  • Parents dropping children off will be given times to stagger the amount of people arriving at preschool.
  • Parents will be directed to rear gates to leave the premises so that there is one way in and one way out for dropping off to preschool.
  • Social distancing must be observed on arrival and leaving the preschool.
  • Children will be released to parents via the fire exit door, one by one at home time – social distancing markers for waiting parents will be put on the outside waiting area.
  • It is requested that only one parent drops and collects children, and that the same parent does this each day.


Social distancing – children


  • Numbers of children will be limited to minimise number of contacts of children and adults.
  • Children will be allocated ‘bubbles’ with the same peers and members of staff to minimise number of contacts of children and adults. Friendship groups of children will be considered when allocating ‘bubbles’. 
  • The indoor space will be divided into bubble areas.  The outdoor space will represent a further ‘bubble’ area, children will use these areas in their bubbles with their bubble adult and not mix.
  • Staff will explain to children the rules of social distancing.
  • Children will remain in ‘bubbles’ for snack and lunch – keeping with their ‘bubble’ adult


Social distancing – staff

  • Staff will observe stringent social distancing with each other and as much social distancing as possible with children.
  • Bubble ‘buddies’ staff members will observe practice and give reminders and support to ensure that social distancing is adhered to as much as practicable.

Key Groups/’bubbles’

  • It may be necessary for children to have a different ‘bubble’ practitioner to their usual key person, due to; staffing, friendship groups, keeping the same children in the same ‘bubble’.  However, staff will communicate with key group practitioners to share information. 
  • It is not anticipated that children will be re-allocated new key practitioners, however this may be reviewed if the interests of the child requires it and staffing allows.


Hygiene controls – hand washing

  • Staff and children will wash their hands on arrival to the premises, and often throughout the day and before they leave the preschool.
  • Ample supplies of soap and paper towels will be provided and children supervised to ensure this is done safely.  Additional wash stations will be set up in the preschool room and outside for hand washing.
  • Parents are requested to teach /remind children how to wash hands thoroughly.
  • Children and parents must wash their hands before they leave the house to come to preschool


Hygiene controls – toileting


  • Children will use the toilet one at a time.  ‘Bubble buddy’ staff will communicate with ‘bubble’ staff via walkie talkie to confirm that the toilet is not occupied and supervise toileting.
  • Children that are not yet independent in self-care will not be attending unless falling into the vulnerable or child of a critical worker category.  In which case hours will be limited to avoid the necessity of changing nappies. 
  • If a child is in need of assistance staff will support them from the side/behind to avoid face to face close contact.
  • Staff will have PPE to carry out any intimate care duties.
  • Parents are asked to explain to children some of the restrictions that are necessary so that they understand some of the differences that they will experience.


Infection controls – resources


  • The resources offered will be limited to those that are not considered an infection risk.  Dressing up, soft furnishings (rugs and cushions), playdough and paint will not be put out.  Sand area outside will be covered and soil removed from the mud kitchen.
  • Resources will be allocated per ‘bubble’, swapped over and cleaned in between each bubble use.
  • Outdoor resources such as the slide, mud kitchen, bikes etc. will be wiped down between each child’s use.
  • Equipment inside e.g. counter tops will be frequently wiped throughout the day, between ‘bubble’ uses and at the beginning and end of each day.


Infection controls – cleaning


  • Staff will conduct rigorous and thorough cleaning before children arrive at preschool, throughout the day and at the end of the day. This will include high contact areas such as door handles in addition to resources. 
  • Items that are brought from home will need to be clearly labelled and minimised.  Toys and comforters are not permitted to be brought into preschool. Parents are asked to ensure that children are not bringing small toys in pockets etc. into preschool. Scooters etc., from home, will not be permitted on the premises or in the garden area.
  • Wellington boots, coats etc. will not be used to minimise the risk of unconscious sharing between children. Parents will be asked to provide all wet weather clothing for their own child. Soiled clothing will be double bagged and returned to the child’s parent for washing.


Infection controls – lunches


  • Lunch boxes MUST be clearly named, placed on the lunch box trolley outside and will then be wiped on arrival at preschool.  They will also be wiped after use in readiness for home time.
  • Water bottles MUST be supplied (containing water only) and clearly named.
  • If a child appears unusually reluctant to eat lunch or complains that it doesn’t taste right, this will be deemed as a possible symptom and procedures followed for the child to be collected, self-isolate and tested before returning to preschool.
  • Parents are asked to clean lunch boxes and water bottles thoroughly before coming to preschool and again once home.  Parents are advised to alternate lunch and water bottles daily so as not to have the same lunch box or water bottle over 2 days. 
  • Parents are asked to supply their child’s lunch in containers that the child can independently manage, to minimise handling of the items by other people.
  • Water bottles will be regularly offered to children, no self-service drinks will be offered to children.


Infection controls – snacks


  • Snacks will continue to be provided by the preschool.  They will be limited to fruit items that require less preparation. E.g. whole apples or carrots. Self-serve snacks will not be provided.
  • Snacks will take place in each ‘bubble’ and will be allocated items per child.


Infection controls – payments


  • We will not accept cash payments or donations. Parents are encouraged to make usual snack donations by on-line banking.


Infection controls – travel


  • We will not be accepting children who have had to travel to preschool using public transport.
  • Staff are asked to not use public transport


Infection controls – administering first aid


  • Any necessary first aid will be carried out by the practitioner heading up the ‘bubble’, all staff are first aid trained.  Staff will use PPE
  • All notifications of accidents/ incidents and first aid will be uploaded to Tapestry and a text sent to the parent to alert them to the accident/incident/first aid.
  • Major accidents/incidents will be dealt with in the usual way using PPE.


Infection control – physical intervention


  • Staff will only physically intervene with a child if necessary to avoid injury to people. 
  • Staff will not physically intervene to take an unsettled child on arrival to preschool. Measures will be taken to try and encourage the child to enter preschool e.g. bubbles, songs. If this is unsuccessful parents will be advised to try again on the next session the child is due to come in. 


Infection control – clothing and sun screen


  • Staff will wear a clean uniform every day, hair will be tied up where possible.
  • Children are required to wear clean clothing every day.  Children will need their own weather wear on days this is necessary eg. waterproofs, sunhats etc. and will need to have a ‘once a day’ sun screen applied before attending preschool.






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