Porchester Road COVID Policy


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 a safe, stimulating and nurturing preschool experience for all who attend.

These procedures are written in line with the following guidance from UK Government and will be reviewed and updated as guidance changes.




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. 



  • Our intention is for the preschool to open for the usual operation hours, as long as the Government deems it safe to do so. However, preschool will close as and when necessary through local and national guidance and it may be necessary for temporary closures specific to the preschool e.g. if staff are self-isolating.
  • 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 next to start school.

Indoor and outdoor environment

  • The layout of the setting will change to encourage social distancing for everybody.  Areas of play with reduced resources will be set up indoors, that will allow small groups of children and adults to explore.  Freeflow play will continue, as long as the level of staff allows ratios to be maintained and the outdoor area will continue to be accessed by all of children during the day. Staff will encourage children to spread out to minimise too many people in one area. Staff will continue to socially distance from each other.

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.
  • If a staff member experiences symptoms while at work they will go home, get tested and follow self-isolation advice. Parents of that group will be contacted to collect their children and the wider preschool community will be informed of the occurrence. To preserve confidentiality as much as possible, names of the staff member will not be shared.
  • If a child presents with symptoms they will be taken to a separate room or garden with a staff member who will wear PPE, parent of the child will be contacted to collect the child. The wider preschool community (i.e. the parents of children on roll)  will then be informed of the occurrence. To preserve confidentiality as much as possible, names of the child will not be shared. Preschool will continue to operate unless advised otherwise. Results of tests will be communicated, whilst continuing to preserve confidentiality.
  • 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.

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.
  • Information relating to children and contact numbers will be shared with Track and Trace organisations in order for them to fulfil the Track and Trace procedures.


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

  • If any adult or child is advised not to attend the preschool would not require staff to work and would not permit the attendance of those children affected. In the case of a staff member, measures would be taken to try and provide cover for the key group and parents informed.


Social distancing

Staff, children, parents and visitors will be permitted to wear face shields and masks if they wish.  Staff will observe strict social distancing with each other at all times. Children will be sensitively taught about social distancing, at a level they are able to process, so that they can understand measures that they will witness both in and out or preschool. 


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. Scouting Groups, will be recorded by the Scout Committee.  Where use of the hut takes place out of preschool operating hours by other users, the other group management will thoroughly clean the hut after use. Preschool will be informed of any such usage.


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 the main door where they will drop lunch boxes onto the blue trolley and say goodbye to their child. There will be markers on the path for social distancing reminders.
  • Social distancing must be observed on arrival and leaving the preschool.
  • Children will be released to parents via the main 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

  • Children will socialise with the same peers and members of staff to minimise number of contacts of children and adults.
  • Staff will explain to children the rules of social distancing. Snack and lunch will be taken in smaller groups, and tables and chairs will be altered so children are next to each other rather than opposite to reduce spread of germs directly into faces.


Hygiene controls – hand washing


  • Children and parents must wash their hands before they leave the house to come to preschool Parents are requested to teach /remind children how to wash hands thoroughly.  https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
  • Staff and children will wash their hands-on arrival to the premises (we will use hand sanitiser at this point at the blue trolley) 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.


Hygiene controls – toileting

  • Children will use the toilet one at a time.  Staff will supervise toileting to ensure hygiene measures (particularly handwashing is done). Toilets will be cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • 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) will be minimal and changed/washed each day. Playdough and paint will be allocated to each child where possible.  Sand area outside will be covered, and sand inside will not be on offer at the moment.
  • Resources will be swapped over and cleaned in between use as much as possible and thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day.  Some resources may be limited to ensure that this is possible.
  • Outdoor resources such as the slide, mud kitchen, bikes etc. will be wiped down between each session.
  • Equipment inside e.g. counter tops will be frequently wiped throughout the day and cleaned again 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 unless by specific arrangement with the manager. 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.
  • Preschool 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.  Preschool will offer long term lends of clothing to any parent that requires it, within the limitations of available resources.


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. Ideally a plastic container for ease.
  • 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 bags thoroughly before coming to preschool and again once home. 
  • 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.
  • We will have water in cups on the water table for during the session. Milk and water will be offered at lunch and snack time.


Infection controls – snacks

  • Snacks will continue to be provided by the preschool.  They will be prepared and dished out by the staff, rather than our usual independent snack café style. However, children will be given opportunities to develop independence and choice making where possible.


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 to preschool

  • We are advising that where possible, public transport is not used to travel to preschool.  Where this is not possible it may be possible to alter sessions to avoid travelling at peak times.  Priority will be given to requests for session changes in these circumstances.
  • Staff are asked to not use public transport


Infection controls – foreign travel



  • Staff that have travelled to non-exempt destinations will not be permitted to work in preschool for the duration of the self-isolation period (currently 14 days).  If the staff member experiences symptoms during the 14 days, they should continue to self-isolate and get tested – during which time working in preschool will not be permitted.


Infection controls – administering first aid

  • Any necessary first aid will be carried out by the first aid trained staff. Staff will use appropriate PPE.
  • All notifications of accidents/ incidents and first aid will be uploaded to Tapestry and we require you to acknowledge this in the form of a comment on tapestry.
  • 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. 
  • Measures will be taken to try and encourage an unsettled child to enter preschool e.g. bubbles, songs. If this is unsuccessful the keyperson may come into the garden and help, they will be encouraged to wear a face mask. Parents maybe advised to try again on the next session the child is due to come in.  Individual settling plans will be agreed with parents to support any children that may struggle to settle.




Infection control – clothing and sunscreen

  • 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 e.g. waterproofs, sunhats etc. and will need to have sunscreen applied before attending preschool.



Original Author


Diana Buckell

Reviewed by : Ladybirds Directors


Dates reviewed

August 2020

Zoe Marler-Hausen








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