Parent Update Covid-19 28th Aug 2020
Firstly, we would like to thank you all for your support and co-operation with our new operating measures since we re-opened at the end of June. The children have happily settled back in to creche and have enjoyed many fun activities over the summer.
As we move in to the autumn and schools are beginning to reopen, we have taken the opportunity to prepare for the colder months and have reviewed our infection control practices and procedures. In addition, community transmission is increasing and there has been a considerable spike in Covid-19 cases, so we all have to remain extra vigilant about social distancing, increased hygiene measures and the use of face covers as it is a priority for us that the health and well-being of the children, their families and our staff teams is maintained at all times. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the procedures that are in place and also to update you on some additional measures that we will be implementing from 31st August 2020. I have also attached a link for you to access our parental agreement to support our revised ways of working during Covid-19 for your attention.
We will be continuing to operate as follows:
- There will be no social distancing required between children in their rooms or in the garden. However, they will operate as a play pod so will not mix with other age groups or their older/younger siblings.
- Our staff teams will continue to social distance themselves from each other as much as possible but not from the children and we have identified additional lunch areas for staff members and have arranged staggered breaks.
- We have made arrangements in our centres to reduce and minimise adult interactions in as much as is possible and practical in a childcare setting and staff members will wear PPE as appropriate.
- For children who still sleep and rest within the centres, they will still be able to sleep comfortably and have their daily naps. There may be slight changes to the rooms where they sleep and they will be placed to sleep head to toe, however their routine in the main will remain the same.
- There will be increased hand-washing for everyone and also sanitisation stations at the entrance to every centre so that staff and essential visitors can sanitize their hands as required.
- Our chefs will be working in line with Covid protocols and will not serve the food in the rooms but will hand over to the key carers to serve.
- We are currently not permitted to have parents or visitors in the premises in line with Tusla guidance. We are conscious that this will be a challenge for many parents and in order to support this, we have set up our foyers as welcome areas, where possible, so that you and your child will be greeted daily by the centre management team and it’s a designated area where we can provide brief handovers at the end of the day. The centre managers will of course call you if your child is upset or has had a bump or bruise during the day. Centre managers will work with you regarding signing the necessary paperwork.
- We are also unable to accommodate buggies, trikes, scooters and car seats in the centres so we politely ask that you make arrangements to take them with you and store them elsewhere.
Our new measures from 31st August will be:
- Parents will politely be requested to wear a face covering at drop off and collection.
- Parent will be asked to complete a health declaration for their child on return to creche if their child has been absent, either or on holidays or through illness and we will be asking parents to confirm that their child has not been in contact with anyone who has signs or symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19. I have attached a link to a copy of the declaration for your information.
- We will also ask that parents advise us of travel arrangements and abide by Government guidelines and restrict movements and self-isolate if you have travelled to a country that is not on the green list.
- We will be operating in line with the revised guidance from the HSPC which was issued to childcare providers on 27th August 2020 which states the following:
The HPSC have published a new Decision Pathways document that provides some new information on when children from 3 months to 13 years can attend their school and childcare/afterschool setting. The document includes the following change to previous advice:
A child with nasal cold symptoms (runny nose or sneezing) can continue to attend their ELC/SAC setting, provided:
- The child is otherwise well and active,
- The child has no new cough or temperature, and
- There is no other person in the child’s household with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.
The link to the new Covid-19 assessment and decision pathway can be accessed here
We are taking every precaution where either a child or a staff member has symptoms of Covid-19 and we are requesting that our staff members remain away from the centres and arrange testing if they have any symptoms. Please speak directly to your centre manager if you have any queries about our revised operating procedures.
Lastly, as there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases in the community, we will continue to operate from 8am to 5.30pm in September to ensure that we can maintain the integrity of the pod system to keep our children and staff safe as new children settle in to the centre and the children from after school return to our centres. We will then extend our opening hours to 8-6pm from 1st October 2020 and we will of course keep this under review and in line with public health guidance.
It is important to us that we continue to abide by these measures to minimise the risk of the spread of Covid-19 in line with public health guidance to ensure that our centres are operating safely with minimum disruption to the children in our care.
Again, we would like to thank you for your continued support and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to operate safely during this public health pandemic.
Giraffe Management Team