We know the pandemic has been difficult for many of you and you want to ensure your child is safe when you end them to nursery. Below we have answered your questions and you can find our full COVID-19 risk assessment on our Home Page.

Updated May 2021

Q. What is your approach to operating nurseries during the pandemic?

Portland Nurseries' priority at all times is the health, safety and wellbeing of the children in our care, their families and our staff team. In specific regard to the current pandemic, we are operating to our own comprehensive and regularly updated COVID-19 polices and risk assessments regarding infection control, and we will also continue to introduce additional measures in line with the latest guidance from the Government, DoE, NHS and Kirklees Public Health.

During lockdown when the majority of nurseries were closed, we continued to open for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children at our Oakwood House setting. The practices which were developed to minimise risk and keep everyone safe proved highly effective, and have formed the foundation for our protocols across our nurseries when we reopened fully.

Q. What safety measures will be in place for my child’s return to nursery?

In line with government guidance we have put many additional measures in place, which include restricting nursery access, social distancing, mask wearing in communal areas and for drop offs and increased hygiene practices.

Q. How will you be managing social distancing requirements?

At drop off and pick up times we are asking parents to hand their child (child to walk to the staff member where possible) to a member of staff at the nursery entrance and remain a 2 metre distance from other parents. We are putting the same measures in place at the end of the day when parents arrive to collect their child. There are markings and signage to help with this.

Children will remain in key groups where possible and room "bubbles". We have also looked at our staff areas and provided guidance to our staff on how to implement social distancing in the nursery. We recognise that social distancing for our nurseries represents a challenge for young children who like close contact with adults and other children and we want to reassure you that we won’t stop hugging children when they need comforting or some reassurance.

Q. How are you managing access to the nursery?
No staff member who has COVID-19 symptoms, (or who has a member of their family displaying symptoms) will be admitted into the nursery until they have either completed self-isolation in line with government guidance or have had a test and tested negative. Parents will be asked to confirm at the nursery entrance that neither their child nor anybody in their household is displaying any COVID-19 symptoms such as a new continuous cough or a high temperature of 37.8°C or more.

Non-essential visitors are not permitted at the nursery. However, we are permitting new parent 'show arounds' inside the nurseries during times when the children are playing outdoors.

Q. Will staff be wearing PPE such as masks?

Staff will wear masks when very close contact is required, such as at drop of and pick up times, and full PPE will be worn if a child becomes unwell during the day and needs to go into the Isolation room, following government guidance.

Q. Are staff being tested?
In line with the current government guidelines staff are partaking in home testing twice a week.

Q. What additional cleaning and hygiene processes are you putting in place?
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by children and adults takes place throughout the day. These include high-risk contact areas such as door handles and doors, toys and children’s resources, phones, keyboards, light switches, taps, toilet flushes, sinks, countertops, handrails and bannisters, shared PCs, including children’s computers/iPads.

We are also ensuring that staff and children are cleaning hands more often than usual and practicing good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to any coughs or sneezes. Children will be supported to ensure they wash their hands properly.

Q. What happens if a child or staff member becomes ill during the nursery day?
If children or staff develop any symptoms such as a new continuous cough or a high temperature of 37.8°C we will take immediate action. Staff will be asked to return home immediately, self-isolate and seek a test. For children we have a dedicated isolation room where they will be taken and cared for by a member staff who is known to them until a parent can come and collect them.

Q. How will you support children’s understanding of the new measures and practices?
In all of our nurseries we are regularly talking to the children during circle times and one to one opportunities to help them understand the ways in which they can keep themselves safe.

Q. I am nervous about sending my child to nursery during a pandemic and would like to understand more – what should I do?

Please call our office or speak to your nursery manage and we will be able to give you specific information relating to your nursery and your child and offer you reassurance.

Q. Do you have any resources to support home learning if my child is absent from nursery?
Please visit our Parent's Guide page on our website.

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