We Are Delighted To Welcome You Back!
Giraffe Childcare is happy to announce that our centres are reopening on 29th June and thank you to all of you who responded to our surveys to support us with planning and for all the positive messages to our staff over the last 3 months. Many of you have questions about reopening so we have compiled a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address some of your queries. If you have any additional questions, please contact your centre manager of e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to this list of FAQS. To read click here.
We can reassure you that we have been working very hard behind the scenes to prepare the centres for reopening as there is so much to do to support our staff teams and prepare the centres for reopening in line with Tusla guidelines and public health requirements.
Health and Safety is paramount at Giraffe Childcare so all our centres teams have completed their return to work Covid-19 training and are familiarising themselves with our new ways of working. We have revised our Infection Control Policies and Procedures to reflect the increased hygiene, sickness and well-being procedures required for childcare settings during Covid-19 and they are available for you to view.
We will be asking all our parents for their support and to work with us and to agree to our revised protocols as we reopen during this health pandemic. 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 so there will be some visible new ways of working for adults which will be mainly seamless for young children. Our staff teams have completed health declarations and we would ask that you advise your centre manager if you child has been in contact with anyone who displayed Covid-19 symptoms in the last 2 weeks.
We are aware that some parents may be concerned around the changes their children will encounter on their return to our centres. However in reality there will be very little changes for the children in the centre and in their rooms or in the garden. You will have heard a lot in the media around Play Pods but we are fortunate that our room sizes are in line with, and some are in excess of, the required square footage per child and as such the children’s room will be their play pod, along with their key carers. Childcare providers have been issued guidance by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and by Tusla which we will implement and follow as we reopen.
Our priority for the first two weeks will be to support the children’s well-being as they settle back in to creche and their routine. To support the children settling-in, we will open on Monday 29th June and Tuesday 30th June from 9.30am to 3pm as settling in days for all children. Children will be able to access the centre from 9am and we ask that collections begin from 2.30pm if possible and if your child is upset, the centre manager will call you and arrange collection if required.
For the remainder of that week and for the following week, we will be operating from 8am to 5pm to settle children back in to creche. We are confident that they will settle back quickly and will be happy to play with their friends again which will make a wonderful difference to their well-being.
Some of the new requirements which you may already be familiar with are:
Under the guidance issued by DCYA there will be no social distancing required between children in their rooms. 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 have to social distance themselves from each other where possible but not from the children. 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.
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.
Our chefs will be working in line with the return to work protocol and we will not serve the food in the rooms but will hand over to the key carers to serve. We will maintain our usual healthy menu plan with all the children’s favourite dishes but we will ask that you update the centre manager on any dietary requirements or food allergies that your child may have.
There will be increased hand-washing for everyone and also sanitisation stations at the entrance to every centre so that staff and visitors can sanitize their hands as required.
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.
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 July. 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 your direct debit if you have cancelled it.
We have attached a brief video on some of the new hygiene procedures that will be in place when we re-open on 29th June.
Again, we would like to thank you for your continued support as we reopen our centres safely. There have been a number of new requirements, protocols and procedures introduced for childcare providers to implement and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we begin to operate in a new and different way. We have attached these policies for your information. We have also attached a revised way of working with our parents during Covid-19 and we ask that you read and sign the attached agreement and return it to your centre manager.
We are looking forward to welcoming you all back on 29th June and in the meantime, your centre manager will be in touch with you over the coming days and is available to respond to your queries.
Giraffe Management Team