We have been working closely with Camden Council and Camden & Islington Public Health to prioritise the safety of children, play staff and families. We are following advice from the government in terms of the number of children that we can work with safely. 

We are following the 5 key actions set out for a return to schools in September:

  1. Frequent hand washing, good hygiene and regular cleaning.
  2. Ensuring pupils and staff only come to playcentre if they are well.
  3. Clear procedures if a child or staff member show symptoms whilst at playcentre.
  4. Protecting shielded and clinically vulnerable children and their families by following medical advice on who needs to stay at home.
  5. Limiting contact by keeping to small groups of children and staff who learn and play together and keep distant from other groups. Keeping children within the same group is similar to keeping within family groups. It limits the amount of social mixing to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their understanding and cooperation since our closure on 20th March. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, in particular when you have had to juggle work commitments with managing childcare, if you have children with special educational needs or disability, or if you are a single parent.

Which children can attend from 27th July?

The government is now allowing us to welcome back all children and has issued guidance for us to follow.

For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. However, some categories of children with specific serious health conditions should not attend their play setting. If you are unsure whether your child should attend the setting due to a health condition that they or someone they live with has, please contact us so we can discuss the details with you.

Protective measures we are taking in light of coronavirus (COVID-19)

First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest government guidance, to develop and implement a number of new ways of operating. This will allow us to open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting.

Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for re-opening include:

  • Asking anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who does, not to attend the setting. That includes children and staff who work here.
  • Keeping our children in small groups with as much consistency in staffing as possible, and minimizing contact with other groups around the setting.
  • Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub or sanitizer ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
  • Ensuring our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout the setting.
  • Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including table-tops, door handles and play equipment.
  • Asking parents/carers to physically distance themselves from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household.
  • Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to the playcentre (unless absolutely essential to their health and wellbeing).

What can parents/carers do to help?

There are a number of things parents and carers can do to help us make these arrangements effective, in addition to the points listed above concerning arrival and departure and not bringing toys to the setting:

  1. If your child, or someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, persistent cough, loss of sense of taste or smell) you must inform us immediately. Keep your child at home until the self-isolation period is over (14 days) or until the person effected has test results that their illness is not coronavirus.
  2. We will be taking your child’s temperature upon arrival and asking them to wash their hands as soon as they arrive.
  3. We acknowledge that it is not possible for younger children to social distance and we do not expect them to – as, having not seen their friends for so long, it would have a negative impact on their wellbeing. Risk will be managed by keeping children in small groups (Bubbles).
  4. If your child displays symptoms of suspected coronavirus whilst at playcentre we will call and ask you to come and collect your child immediately. We will move your child to a separate room, where they will be cared for by a member of staff until you arrive. Please ensure we have updated emergency contact details.

 

  1. We will speak to all children when they come in on their first day and explain how we are going to keep them safe when they are with us and to make them aware that they also have a responsibility to follow the rules in order to keep themselves and others safe.
  2. If there is a case of coronavirus connected to playcentre, your child may have to stay at home until testing, isolation and deep cleaning have taken place.
  3. Please make sure that only one adult comes to drop off and pick up children. We will be asking adults to stay outside the playcentre unless it is absolutely necessary for them to come inside because their child is upset or needs settling. Please speak to a member of staff if you think that this will be difficult.
  4. Please provide packed lunches in a standard lunch box or bag with a cold pack inside if possible. If you do not have a cold pack please let us know. All children should bring an easily identifiable reusable water bottle.
  5. If the weather is warm please do not send a coat with your child.
  6. Please ensure your child wears a clean set of clothes each day.
  7. On arrival and departure please respect social distancing and keep 2 meters apart whilst waiting for your child to enter/leave.
  8. Please do not stay around and talk to other parents in front of the gate as this can pose a risk to children and staff who need to enter and exit the grounds.
  9. Please be aware that if anyone who lives in your household is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and is required to shield at home, your child will not be able to attend playcentre before 1st August.

Testing

Once early years and childcare providers open their doors to more children, all children who are attending a childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. The aim is to enable children to get back to childcare, and avoid the need for their parents or carers to self-isolate for any longer than is necessary, if the test proves to be negative. A positive test will ensure rapid action to protect other children and staff in their setting.

We ask all parents and carers to ensure they organise a test for their child, in the event that they develop coronavirus symptoms, and notify us immediately of a positive test. Further guidance is available about getting tested.

We hope this has given you the information you need to understand the arrangements we have made to enable children to return to us from 27th July.

We are looking forward to welcoming your child/children and hope that you are reassured we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our setting. If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch.