Covid19 Frequently Asked Questions
We are getting ready to reopen our centres on the 29th June and are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back. The health and well-being of the children, their families and our staff is paramount. We understand that you may have many questions, so we have prepared some frequently asked questions to address some of the queries that you may have.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask your centre manager or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include a response here. We thank you in advance for your support and cooperation during these unusual times and are looking forward to welcoming you all back soon.
What is a play pod?
Following Government advice, children are not required to social distance so our base rooms will now operate as Play Pods. along with the children’s key carers. It will effectively remain the same as we operated pre-Covid except that there will no mixing of groups, staff or siblings whilst in the centre. The children will have separate garden time throughout the day as individual play pod groups. We are maximising garden time as possible with many planned fun activities.
Do I have to social distance during drop off and collection?
We ask all families to respect social distancing and queue at the allocated areas when arriving at the centre for drop off and collection, this is of particular importance when awaiting temperature taking. Within a childcare environment social distancing can present challenges with young children and we will do all that we can in each centre to support this by taking the following measures:
- monitoring our occupancy carefully
- avoiding the movement of children and staff between rooms or within communal spaces
- using gardens as much as possible
- spending time in key groups
- each room working independently of other age groups
- repurposing of spaces to provide additional space for staff breaks or amending break schedules to support smaller groups 4 of four
- staff will be carefully deployed within the centre and will only work in one room, and as far as possible with their key children
- staff members who provide cover will wear PPE
Are there staggered entrance times at the centre?
There are marked queuing arrangements outside each centre to manage social distancing and we anticipate that queues will be short as we first re-open, however, we will review access to our centres in line with Tusla guidelines as required. There may be staggered times as the number of children in the centre increases and the centre managers will advise parents if there are any changes.
Will I be allowed to take my buggy/trike/scooter/car seat to the centre?
To prevent cross contamination and to ensure we adhere to public health guidelines we are unable to store children’s buggies/trikes/scooters or car seats within the centres. These can be brought to the centre but must be taken home with parent after drop off.
At drop off, will I be able to go into the centre?
We want to make the return to creche as smooth as possible for the children and their families but have to follow public health guidance and Tusla requirements to minimise adult access to our centres. Parents are invited to enter our welcome zone which will be positioned at our reception area. Here, we will take the temperatures of the children and a member of our care team will take your child to their care room/Play Pod where our handwashing protocol will take place.
Can my child have their comforter or soother?
Yes of course. If your child uses a soother, please supply at least two so a spare one can be kept on hand in a Milton style solution. The use of dummy straps is not permitted as these enable the dummy to be in contact with surfaces. If your child has a blanket or soft toy, please supply these and have them as clean as possible. Comforters will be available to children when they need them, when they are upset, tired, or going for their nap. At other times comforters will be in the child’s bag or box to prevent other children accessing these.Please refrain from bringing in other favoured toys such as a car, or dinosaur. We have plenty of exciting experiences and resources to access.
Will you comfort my child if they are upset?
Absolutely. Social distancing must be carefully balanced with ensuring the emotional wellbeing of each child. If a child becomes upset at any time with us, we will comfort them as they need, be this with a cuddle or a story time for example. No child will be left crying because of social distancing.
Will staff be wearing face masks or coverings?
The evidence to support the use of masks, or not, is limited. At Giraffe staff who are taking temperatures will wear a face mask or shield, which will be changed for each session of temperature taking. Staff within rooms with children be given the option to wear face masks or shields and will be required to wear them if travelling on public transport (consistent with Government guidance). This will ensure a more familiar environment for the children who can be reassured by familiar faces and friendly smiles, which will be very much needed at this time of continued uncertainty.
What happens when my child presents with a high temperature on arrival?
To protect all the children, their families and our staff it is essential that we carry out a temperature check on all who are attending our centres. On arrival, your child’s temperature will be checked using an infrared thermometer. If your child presents with a high temperature of 38 degrees, we will ask you to care for your child at home. We would ask that you do not return to the centre for a minimum of 24 hours. This is to ensure that the welfare of all the children, their families and the staff is maintained in the centre.
What happens if my child develops a temperature or a cough during the day?
At any point throughout the day, if your child becomes unwell or presents with a temperature of 38 degrees, we will ensure that they are made comfortable. We will move them from their care room to an isolation area where they can be observed and cared for. We will make contact with their parent and request to kindly collect them within a 45-minute timeframe. Your child is unable to return for a minimum of 24 hours and the centre manager will contact you to check on their well-being.
How frequently will temperature checks occur during the day?
Temperatures checks will occur through out the centre twice daily. Once on arrival and again in the afternoon. However, if a child or a member of staff become unwell throughout the day, we will check their temperature and ensure of Health and Wellbeing Protocol is adhered to.
How frequently will hand washing occur?
Hand washing and cough etiquette are important skills that we have always encouraged the children to partake in. Children will wash their hands on arrival at the centre and regularly throughout the day – after toileting, before eating, after gardening and as required. We have lots of fun songs and activities to help the children understand its importance.
Have you increased your hygiene protocols?
At Giraffe we have robust hygiene protocols and procedures in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of the children, their families and our staff. To minimise the risk of the spread of Covid-19, we have enhanced our cleaning protocols and all our cleaning products contain antiviral cleaning properties. Frequent touch points such as door handles, light switches and toilets will be cleaned several times throughout the day.
How will your centres manage visitors?
We are doing our best to minimise the number of visitors to our centres. Only essential visitors will be allowed to enter the centres for essential tasks such as electrics, plumbing, deliveries etc. All our visitors will be required to follow our safety procedures and agree to our visitors protocol.
What happens if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in our centre?
If there is a confirmed case within/connected to your centre, we will make contact with you, whilst maintaining the confidentiality of all involved. We will follow all regulatory procedures and guidance in line with public health requirements.
What will my child’s day look like?
Your child’s day will be the same as before with plenty of activities both indoor and outdoor. Our team are familiar with your child and will ensure they are settled, happy and engaged in play. If your child is unsettled or unwell, contact will be made to communicate this. Handovers will be provided but will be limited to facilitate drop/collection for all families without too much delay.
What happens if we have been out of the country?
If your child has been out of the country and attended a country on the “green list”, your child may return to creche as normal. However, if the visiting country is not a “green list” country, your child/family unit (who travelled) must self-isolate for 14 days in line with public health guidance before returning to creche. If a parent only is out if the county and is self-isolating, your child may attend creche if they do not have contact with you, but we would ask that you refrain from drop and collect for the first 14 days. Check out the listing of Green Listing Countries here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/8868e-view-the-covid-19-travel-advice-list/
How will my fees be charged for the month of July?
For families returning on 29th June, there will be no fees charged for 29th and 30th June as these will be settling in days for your child. For those returning on 29th June, fees will apply from 1st For families returning at a later date in July, fees will apply from their return date. July fees will be processed by direct debit in the first week of July. Please notify your bank to reinstate direct debits if you have cancelled it.
Will I receive the Government fee subsidy?
We have been advised that the government grant schemes for parents will re-open for online registration in the week commencing 22nd June 2020 and we are required to re-register parents for their childcare schemes in advance of their return date. We will apply grants off all fees in respect of successful registrations, in advance of parent return dates.We will contact parents individually if we require any further information to process their grant registration.