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Reopening of schools, early years settings and childcare

Reopening under the Safe Exit Framework

The advice from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) and the Medical Officer for Health is that it is safe to start re-opening schools. The risks to the health, welfare and education of our children from a continued absence from school now outweigh the risks from COVID-19. Therefore children should return to school ensuring that public health measures can be maintained.

The safety of children, staff and their families remain the absolute priority

There is growing evidence that children are not super spreaders. When they are infected, the level of the virus (viral load) appears to be no greater/less than in adults. 

From 22 June:

  • primary schools: all primary school year groups, starting from Nursery through to Year 6 classes, will be allowed to return on various days throughout the week, which will be decided by each individual school
  • secondary schools: pupils will return to school, however, again each secondary school will decide which year groups / pupils can return

Each school, college and provider will have a detailed plan for extending re-opening. This will ensure that arrangements are specific to their setting.

COVID-19 infection rates in the community will continue to be carefully monitored to see if the re-opening schools has any impact.

This will inform our decisions on the return of further year groups the following week on 29 June.

This will be led by Public Health advice and in consultation with school leaders and union colleagues.

We will provide sufficient time for parents, students, schools, colleges and nurseries to plan for reopening to more children and young people. 

We want to get all children back into education as soon as the medical advice allows. It is the best place for them to learn. We know it is good for children’s mental wellbeing to have social interactions with other children, carers and teachers.

The transmission rate of COVID-19 has decreased. 

Physical distancing

Updated 26 June 2020

The revised medical advice is that children at primary school will not be required to maintain physical distancing. This will be kept under review with Public Health. Pupils at secondary school will be required to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre and will not be in a 'bubble'.

The 'bubble' approach is being recommended for primary schools. This means that children will be kept in a whole class size 'bubble'. While it is accepted that there will be some interaction within the group, interaction between different groups will not be allowed. This allows the number of contacts each child has to be kept to a minimum.

The maintenance of class bubbles at the beginning and end of the day and during break and lunchtimes

While schools should ensure that groups of learners are kept within class group bubbles and apart within the school as much as possible, it is acknowledged that this will not always be achievable.

Measures to keep pupils within class group bubbles and apart include: planning for staggered and segregated breaks and lunches where possible and may also include zoning areas of the site for use as social space.  

Schools will need to consider the use of staggered break and lunch times, to minimise the number of children and young people moving around the school at the same time.  The intention should be that mixing of class bubbles is avoided, where ever possible, and minimised where it cannot be avoided.

For two and three form entry schools it is recognised that for certain parts of the school day, notably at the beginning and end of the school day and during breaks and lunchtime, a whole year bubble approach will be required. It is important to minimise the amount of time class bubbles from across a year group are together. So for example if it cannot be avoided lunchtime and break times can be supervised in phases i.e. several classes of the same year group together. 

In primary schools, if more than one class is playing outside, it may be helpful to zone the play area and where possible to include a buffer area to help children know where to play safely.  In secondary schools, careful thought should be given to zoning year-group social spaces and to staggering break times across year-groups to reduce the risk of avoidable mixing of groups of learners.

All learners should bring in a packed lunch which will be eaten in classrooms and not in internal social areas.  Any uneaten food should be taken home for disposal.  Children and young people can eat outside if the weather and seating permits, however in secondary schools' students should maintain 1 metre physical distance from their peers. 

It is accepted that in order to provide sufficient cover, lunchtime supervisors will need to go into more than one class, however, this number should be kept as low as possible. 

The use of PPE 

PPE will not be needed in general in school settings. If a child or staff member develops any COVID-19 symptoms while in the school setting, they will require a member of staff to stay with them. 

We are emphasising the existing guidance on hygiene. This is essential and the most protective factor. This includes the importance of good ventilation. 

Detailed risk assessments are being carried out by all schools. 

Children are not required to wear cloth face masks while at school. However, they can if they want to. The evidence is that face masks protect others from the virus rather than providing protection to the person wearing the mask.

Testing and confirmed cases within school

Testing and contact tracing establish where infection is being generated from. 

If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 they should immediately call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566. The helpline is available to support parents in determining whether or not the symptoms are likely to be consistent with COVID-19 and whether or not the child needs testing and isolating. If required a test will be arranged. 

If the test comes back positive they will be contacted by the Environmental Health contact tracing team who will advise on what this means regarding the isolation of the individual, their family and their contacts. 

The contact tracing team will contact the Head teacher to advise on isolation and testing for other members of the school.  

If a positive case is confirmed within the school setting, the school will inform the CYPES Hub. They will provide further support on how to manage the situation and communicate with parents.  

If the test is negative, the pupil will be advised to stay at home until they feel better.

Medical advice

Updated 17 June

The latest advice is that:

  • the evidence continues to grow that the harm in not returning to school outweighs the evidence of any risk to harm of Covid-19 by returning to school
  • physical schooling should, therefore, resume as soon as possible and practicable for all ages
  • the STAC supports the reduction to 1 metre of physical distancing in schools among secondary school pupils
  • the STAC also supports a change to primary school 'bubbles' and has advised that a single class group can now equate to one bubble. Children do not need to physically distance within their bubble
  • the risk to teachers from children with reduced (secondary) or no (primary) physical distancing is not increased
  • physical distancing of 1 metre between adults from a different household in schools is recommended
  • physical distancing between adults (e.g. teaching staff) and children should be 1 metre where possible but, if not possible, close contact is recommended to be kept to under 15 minutes
  • pick up and drop off at schools should be coordinated to reduce number of adults congregating at any one time. This is consistent with the present 1 metre outdoors physical distancing requirement
  • teaching staff should continue to adhere to guidance from public health as to their own risk assessment for personal shielding, where applicable.

Communication with schools

Regular meetings have taken place with unions, headteachers and school advisors. 

Each school, college and provider will have a detailed plan for re-opening to ensure that arrangements are tailored, within the guidance, to reflect their setting.

We have provided advice to schools and other settings on the steps they should consider taking, this includes:

  • limiting the amount of contact between different groups of children (such as smaller class sizes with children and staff spread out more)
  • additional protective measures, such as increased cleaning and encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene.

We will provide time for parents, students, schools, colleges and nurseries to plan appropriately for reopening to more children and young people. 

We hope that more primary school children will be able to come back to school before the summer holidays. This will be kept under review. Reducing the risks for children and staff is our priority.

Risks to children, teachers and families

We have provided guidance and support to schools, colleges and childcare settings on risk assessments to help them to reduce the risk of transmission as more children and young people return.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, schools and other settings will use a range of protective measures to create safer environments. This way, the risk of spreading the virus is reduced. These changes may look different in each setting as they will depend upon individual circumstances. They are all designed to minimise risks to children, staff and their families.

Schools and other settings will communicate their plans to parents. 

Approaches we are asking schools and other settings to take include:

  • carrying out a risk assessment before opening to more children and young people. The assessment will address the risks of COVID-19 so that sensible measures can be put in place to minimise those risks for children, young people and staff
  • making sure that children and young people do not attend if they or a member of their household has symptoms of COVID-19
  • promoting regular hand washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap. Use of hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content). Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the catch it, bin it, kill it approach
  • cleaning more frequently to get rid of the virus on frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, tabletops, play equipment and toys
  • reducing the number of contacts each child has through smaller classes or group sizes 
  • taking reasonable measures to ensure physical distancing. For example through changing the layout of classrooms and creating one-way systems in corridors
  • reducing mixing between groups through timetable changes. These could be staggered break times and/or staggered drop-off and collection times

Attendance at school

We strongly encourage children and young people in the eligible year groups to attend. Unless they are isolating because they or a household member has symptoms of COVID-19 or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).

You should notify your child's school or college, as normal, if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and they can discuss this with you.

No action for non-attendance will be taken at this time.

Underlying health conditions and higher risk groups

Children and young people who are considered clinically to be high risk individuals (extremely vulnerable) should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend.

Moderate risk (vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. A small number of children will fall into this category and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.

Children and young people who live in a household with someone who is clinically high risk can attend school. For such children strict social distancing is encouraged and should be adhered to if the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions. If there is any uncertainty, medical advice should be sought.

Providing education

Education settings still have the flexibility to provide support and education to children and young people attending school in the way they see fit during this time.

For those pupils not returning to school remote learning will continue to be provided. 

Schools and colleges continue to be best placed to make decisions about how to support and educate their pupils during this period. This will include:

  • consideration of pupils’ mental health and wellbeing
  • assessment of where pupils are in their learning to make any necessary adjustments to their curriculum over the coming weeks
  • prioritising high need groups and support for those in transition years

Schools and colleges will support pupils attending as well as those remaining at home, making use of the available remote education support.

Travelling to and from childcare, school or college

Children, young people and parents are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible and avoid public transport. School buses will continue to operate as they have from 8 June and will operate with the introduction of additional public health safety measures.

If you use the bus, the potential increased risk of more people travelling closer together will be managed by:

  • sitting as far away from other people as possible
  • using the hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) provided
  • using a mouth and nose covering – exemptions are for young children and those with a disability that means they could not independently remove their own mask in an emergency

Opening hours

Some settings will make changes to their start and finish times or introduce new drop-off and collection arrangements to keep children and families safe.

Start and finish times will be clearly communicated to parents and carers alongside any other new arrangements.

Cleaning of classrooms

Schools will have strict cleaning guidelines. Cleaning practices will be reflected in the school’s safety plan and will be in accordance with the Children Young People Education and Skills Cleaning Guidance.

Providing remote learning to pupils who don’t attend

For those pupils not returning to school remote learning will continue to be provided.

Catering

Canteens in schools will be closed. Pupils will be required to bring a packed lunch into school or will be provided one by the school caterer.

Screening

Public Health has advised that it is not a requirement for pupils to be screened on arrival at school. However, as each school will develop its own response to the guidance some may decide to take children's temperatures when they arrive at school.

As children have been shown to display only mild symptoms or to be asymptomatic, screening on arrival is unlikely to be effective.

Guidance for schools

Under the Safe Exit Framework, the Government of Jersey has advised that a phased return to school for some pupils will continue at Level 2 provided appropriate health, safety and hygiene control measures are put in place.

The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance regarding the necessary control measures required to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in school settings. 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a raft of additional considerations for school settings but at the same time it is important to remember and consider all ongoing health and safety considerations, especially at a time where schools are not operating as normal and where staff that normally take responsibility for particular aspects of risk management may not be present.

For that reason, this guidance not only asks school leaders to consider the risks and mitigation measures that you will need to put in place to address COVID-19 but also day-to-day operational risks.  

The guidance, while specific to schools in Jersey, can also encourage students to become advocates for infection control at home, in school, and in the wider community by talking to others about how to prevent the spread of viruses. 

Guiding principles

The advice from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) and the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is that the risks to the health, welfare and education of our children from a continued absence from school now outweigh the risks from COVID-19 and that children should return to school as soon as is practically possible, whilst ensuring that public health measures can be maintained.

STAC has taken account of the growing evidence of the:

  • limited effectiveness of school closures on decreasing the infection rate
  • low likelihood of children contracting the virus
  • low likelihood of children spreading the virus to others
  • low health impacts of Covid-19 infections in children
  • increasing wider health impacts of school closures on children and parents/carers

The safety of children, staff and their families remain the absolute priority.

The health risk to children from COVID-19 is considered by STAC and the MOH to be low and there is increasing evidence that children play no greater role in the spread of the virus than adults.  Also, with low incidence of COVID-19 in the general population STAC and the MOH consider the risk of contracting the virus to be low.

It is acknowledged that younger children may struggle to adhere to the hygiene measures and a pragmatic approach should be adopted in such situations with the focus of attention being on:

  • ensure that symptomatic children are kept away from school
  • ensure that if a household member of a child has COVID-19 that those children isolate and are kept off school
  • ensure regular and thorough hand washing
  • ensure that the number of people that each child comes in contact with is limited
  • Put a plan in place

Every school or childcare facility opening during the COVID-19 pandemic must plan in advance how they are going to reduce the risk of spreading the virus during the course of operating.

Schools have two critical areas to consider:

  • protection of staff and their families
  • protection of children and their families

It is important to engage your staff in how to reduce the risk. Their involvement and commitment will be key to reducing risk for everyone. School leaders are advised to involve the staff team in the creation of the school safety plan and developing risk assessments. Before a school opens, staff will need to be familiar with these plans, so they can understand how to minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and be provided with training where appropriate. Schools and nurseries must have a written plan available to all staff. It must also be published on the school website.

Head teachers and senior leaders are expected to work with school staff to develop their school safety plan and risk assessment. Once completed, all staff must read and sign to agree their understanding of how the school will operate safely. These plans need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure updated Government guidance, onsite learning, home learning and additional control measures are incorporated and implemented.

The following must be completed before the reopening of schools to additional pupils.

School safety plan 

The development of a site-specific safety plan is required for each school, college and building where staff are located. A workplace is defined as any place where people are required to work. As part of this plan you should walk through your work area to make sure you have captured all aspects of the workplace and understand what control measures are in place to mitigate any risks. You should check that suitable signs and notices are displayed in the workplace to remind staff and students of hygiene requirements. CYPES Officers will support schools with the development of their site-specific safety plans and risk assessments.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, so school leaders must ensure that plans remain dynamic and changes are made as required.

Use the provided safety plan example to document your actions to reduce the risks to you and your colleagues whilst at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provide as much information in response to each question as possible. This information will help your staff, students and parents know exactly what to do and what to expect. 

Risk assessment 

A generic risk assessment has been developed to assist with the reopening of schools and colleges. This needs to be to be made site specific so that risks and control measures are identified, suitable and sufficient.  

Protecting staff and their families

In addition to the general guidance for all employers, schools should follow the Government of Jersey’s Operating within Jersey’s safe exit framework, Guidance for Managers.

Protecting pupils and their families

Although it is important for schools to consider all public health guidance applicable at this time, schools provide a set of particular challenges that must be considered separately.

Symptoms

If a child or a member of staff has symptoms, or someone in their household has symptoms, they should not be in school. 

Children and staff with symptoms must follow the isolation guidance. If a child or member of staff have symptoms or someone in their household has symptoms, they need to immediately isolate at home and then call the helpdesk on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to arrange testing. They should follow the isolation guidance to determine when they can come back into school.

If a child in a class has symptoms the school does not need to inform other parents that a child is symptomatic. If a child in the setting is confirmed COVID-19 through a positive PCR test then contact tracing may involve testing (see below) of some or all of the children in the setting.

A register must be in place to record the contact details of all those that are on site each day such as parents, approved contractors and external agencies in addition to a register as to which children are present within each class group and in what room. If children are off school with COVID-19 symptoms this should also be recorded.

Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a child showing symptoms comes to school, schools will isolate the child and make arrangements to send them home.

Testing

If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 they should immediately call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to arrange testing.

If the test comes back positive they will be contacted by the Environmental Health contact tracing team who will advise on what this means regarding the isolation of the individual, their family and their contacts. 

The contact tracing team will contact the head teacher with a view to advising on isolation and testing for other members of the school. In this instance they will need to know who was in the facility at the same time as the positive case and who is likely to have had close contact with the individual (i.e. who is in their bubble, please see below). The contract tracing team will request to see these records. Under the current advice is it likely that all members of the bubble which the child or teacher is in will have to follow the isolation advice.

If a positive case is confirmed within the school setting the school should inform the CYPES Hub who can provide further support on how to manage the situation and communicate with parents.

The school should follow the guidance on cleaning after a confirmed case.

Day-to-day management of the school

Primary schools

Create ‘bubbles’ to limit the number of contacts each child has.

Children should constantly be kept in small groups or ‘bubbles’ to reduce the number of contacts that each child has. As far as possible the following should remain constant: 

  • same group: children stay in the same small groups (maximum of a class size) at all times. Different groups (or bubbles of children) are not to mix during the day, or on subsequent days. To make it easier to identify groups and keep them separate consider assigning a colour to each group providing them with coloured bibs, wristbands or such like
  • same location - ensure that wherever possible children and young people use the same classroom or area (this could be a sectioned off part of a hall) throughout the day and on subsequent days. If possible seat students at the same desk each day.
  • same facilities - assign toilets to set groups of children. Consider allocating specific areas of the playground for each group
  • it is preferable for the same teacher(s) and other staff to be assigned to each group and where possible they should not move between bubbles. If necessary, teaching staff can teach different bubbles providing strict physical distancing is observed between the teacher and the children.
  • schools should record which children are in each bubble, which location and facilities they are assigned to and which staff are associated with each bubble. This will facilitate contact tracing and cleaning should someone become symptomatic or test positive

Secondary schools

Secondary school children are expected to be able to adhere to the physical distancing of 1 metre and hand and respiratory hygiene measures at all times and as such they are not required to stay in constant bubbles.

Visitors to the school

Visitors to school premises should be kept to an absolute minimum. A register must be in place to record the contact details of all those that are on site each day such as parents, approved contractors and external agencies, in addition to a register as to which children are present within each bubble/class group.

Physical distancing

Schools should aim to take 'reasonably practicable steps' to observe safe distancing within their premises.

Physical distancing between adults, for example teaching staff and children should be 1 metre where possible but if not possible, close contact is recommended to be kept to under 15 minutes. 

Secondary schools and colleges are not designed to have 1 metre separation between all pupils and staff at all times. Therefore, in order to maintain physical distancing, it may be necessary to operate at reduced capacity and utilise spaces other than classrooms for teaching, such as halls or outdoor spaces.

In the teaching areas:

  • rearrange student desks to maintain 1 metre between pupils and between pupils and the teacher when they are sat down
  • turn desks to face the same direction (rather than facing each other) to reduce transmission caused from virus-containing droplets (from talking, coughing, sneezing)
  • where possible children / young people to sit in the same place every day
  • if the teacher has to move between bubbles then procedures must be in place to ensure that the teacher maintains 1 metre from the children at all times, consideration needs to be given as to how they will assist the children, mark work etc. If a primary school teacher cannot maintain the physical distancing from the children (for example in reception and key stage 1) then they should not move between bubbles

In all other areas:

A 1 metre distance between teachers and others must be maintained at all times. This is particularly important where pupils / staff are likely to be together for 15 minutes or more. The following should be considered to help achieve this:

  • place tape on floors and desks to illustrate the 1 metre distance 
  • supervise breaks to ensure physical distance is maintained. If more than one bubble or group are having a break at the same time, then playgrounds and fields should be demarcated so that groups have their own areas to play
  • stagger entry times into school, break and lunch times to minimise gatherings of children and parents 
  • limit numbers of staff in communal staff areas, for example staff room at the same time 
  • where appropriate, create a one-way system for circulation, entering and leaving the buildings, using tape and signs to indicate the direction of flow/travel, no entry etc
  • place a divider down the middle of the corridor to keep groups apart as they move through the setting where spaces are accessed by corridors
  • access rooms directly from outside where possible
  • restrict hallway and staircase use through staggered release of classes
  • use the posters provided for schools on gov.je to help explain

Using halls for teaching:

  • halls can be used as additional teaching space
  • all outside doors should be open to ensure maximum natural ventilation
  • 1 metre distance should be maintained between desks
  • children must be seated in their bubbles (maximum group of 15)
  • different areas of the hall should be clearly marked out
  • each bubble should be assigned to a given location in the hall and there should be at least 4 metres between different bubbles (to allow for movement at a safe distance)
  • the teacher(s) must remain 1 metre away from all children and staff
  • measures must be in place to ensure that there is not interaction between bubbles within the hall

Consider the following:

  • each bubble has a different arrival / departure time
  • each bubble is assigned a different entry door (if possible)
  • each bubble should not have to walk through another bubble to get to their desk / go to the bathroom etc

Ventilation 

All spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units.

Lunch

Updated 5 June 2020

  • children should have a packed lunch brought from home or provided by the school caterer
  • children can be provided with packed / takeaway lunches from canteens where the canteen can follow guidance for food services
  • children must bring a packed lunch as no catering facilities will be available
  • children should remain in their group (bubble) for lunch and should not mix with other groups
  • lunch should be eaten in their allocated class space or outdoors if the separation from other groups can be maintained
  • lunch breaks should be staggered to eliminate crowding and the likelihood of interacting with other groups

Break time 

  • staggering breaks to ensure that any corridors or circulation routes used have a limited number of pupils using them at any time
  • multiple groups of children should only be in the playground at the same time if you can ensure that groups will not mix
  • play equipment that cannot be cleaned between different groups of children should not be used (e.g. climbing frames)

Toilets

  • ensure that toilets do not become crowded by limiting the number of children or young people who use the toilet facilities at any one time
  • switch off hand dryers and provide paper towels

Sports facilities

Updated 17 June

PE outdoors is permitted in accordance with the general guidance

Indoor sport facilities can be used for low and moderate intensity sport and physical activity only. The highest level of intensity permitted is moderate during which, it feels like you can exercise for long periods of time and you are able to talk and hold a short conversation. 

Rate of Perceived Exertion Scales which provides a full definition of both low and moderate intensity. For absolute clarity levels 1 to 5 are permitted. Level 6 and above are prohibited.

To help you with your risk assessment we define physical activity intensities as follows:

  • 1 - Very light activity – anything other than complete rest
  • 2 to 3 - Light activity, feels like you can maintain for hours, easy to breath and carry on a conversation
  • 4 to 5 - Moderate activity, feels like you can exercise for long periods of time, able to talk and hold a short conversation
  • 6 to 7 - Vigorous activity, on the verge of becoming uncomfortable, short of breath, can speak a sentence
  • 8 to 9 – Very hard activity, difficult to maintain exercise intensity, hard to speak more than a single word
  • 10 – Maximum effort, feels impossible to continue, completely out of breath, unable to talk

Low to moderate intensity exercise is considered levels 4 to 5 or lower i.e. 'very light activity', 'light activity' and 'moderate activity' would be considered permissible. Anything from 6 and above is considered high intensity and high risk for transmission and is strongly discouraged.

Indoor halls can be used for other non-physical activities, but different bubbles should not mix and adequate cleaning between use by different bubbles must take place in line with the cleaning strategy.

Music

Singing, in addition to woodwind and brass music, is strongly discouraged either on a-one-to-one or group basis, this applies both outdoors and indoors, because of the very high risk of dispersing droplets and therefore of spreading infection. However, other instruments including keyboard, strings and percussion can take place

Reduce the use of shared resources

Updated 5 June 2020

  • water fountains can be used to fill up water bottles but not to drink directly from. As a regular touch point these should be cleaned frequently
  • where possible teachers should find alternatives to hand marking books – for example getting the children to mark their own books or getting them to submit work electronically
  • limit the amount of shared resources and wherever possible clean between the use of different children
  • limit the resources that children take home and store each item for 72 hours before giving to another child (for example if a child brings back a reading book on Monday then don’t issue it to another child until Friday) 
  • prevent the sharing of stationery and other equipment where possible
  • shared materials and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected between users
  • practical lessons can go ahead if equipment can be cleaned thoroughly between users 

Transport to school

  • parents and children should be encouraged to walk or cycle to their education setting where possible
  • school buses should only be used if there is no other option and pupils must adhere to the hygiene and physical distancing measures that Liberty Bus have in place
  • where hygiene and physical distancing is not possible, for example when transporting children and young people with complex needs who need support to access the vehicle or fasten seatbelts, consideration should be given as to how to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus

Breakfast and after-school clubs

These can operate provided all hygiene and public health measures are adhered to which will include 1 metre physical distancing being maintained. If food/snacks are served the guidance that relates to food must be followed

Drop off and pick up

Daily drop off, pick up and safe access to the school’s premises/reception area.

  • school leaders should consider the safe access and egress of parents, visitors and contractors to the school setting (signing in/out, access around the facilities and contact with staff)
  • pick up and drop off procedures should be reviewed, including, signage and markings to ensure those accessing the school site remain socially distanced from other people
  • parents are discouraged from gathering at school gates and if appropriate should be encouraged to stay in their cars

Outdoor space

Use outdoor space as much as possible for:

  • learning and recreation
  • exercise and breaks
  • outdoor education

Hand-washing and respiratory hygiene 

Regular and thorough hand-washing is essential for everyone within a school setting.  The following should be followed:

  • regular and thorough hand-washing by staff, students, and all visitors
  • hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds and dried thoroughly using paper towels
  • as a minimum, children should wash their hands, on entry into school, after breaks, before and after eating, after using any shared equipment / resources, and after sneezing or coughing and before going home
  • ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently 
  • provide hand sanitiser hand gel (with 60-70% alcohol conten)) dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled
  • schools must make sure that no children will have unsupervised access to hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content)
  • ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) in classrooms and other learning environments
  • ensure proportionate supplies of soap, anti-bacterial gel and cleaning products are supplied
  • encourage children not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
  • encourage children to use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
  • consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition

Note that some children and young people will need additional support to follow these measures (for example, routes round school marked in braille or with other meaningful symbols, and social stories to support them in understanding how to follow rules)

Cleaning premises and equipment

Follow the department’s cleaning strategy.

There should be particular emphasis on regularly cleaning surfaces that are frequently touched by different groups of staff and pupils, such as door handles, switches, stairway railings.

Clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, sinks, toilets more regularly than normal. Toilets must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every hour because of the frequent gastrointestinal shedding of the coronavirus.

Where it is safe to do so prop doors open (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation. Check to ensure all fire doors are closed at the end of each day.

Ensure that bins for tissues and hand towels are emptied throughout the day.

As a minimum the above cleaning measures should all be completed after the children arrive in the morning, after morning break and after the lunch break (except for the hourly cleaning of toilets as above).

Staff Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

PPE is not required or recommended in any school or college setting.   PPE will be available in each educational facility for use in the event of a student or member of staff becoming symptomatic and needing care prior to leaving the premises. Training on the use of PPE will be provided.

Follow the guidance on the use of cloth masks.

Administering first aid and intimate care

Where a child requires first aid and other essential care and it is not possible for the child to administer it to themselves under supervision of an adult and it is not appropriate to wait for a parent to arrive, the staff member can get closer than 1 metre to the child.  If possible, this should be the member of staff that is assigned to their bubble, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible.

In such cases no additional PPE, other than that which would be normally recommended to complete the task, is necessary.

The staff member should be reminded to thoroughly wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before and after attending to the child.

First aid guidance

Action to take if a child or member of staff develop symptoms while at school  

Ensure that all staff are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Provide a single designated room, or if possible an outside area, as a defined contaminated zone and keep the student / staff member there until they are picked up. Open a window if possible.

Call the parents, or nearest family member (in the case of a member of staff) to arrange collection. They should be advised to contact the coronavirus helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 as soon as possible. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. 

Staff attending to the sick person should wear PPE before entering any contaminated zone and remain in PPE until they leave. PPE will be provided to each school setting in line with the guidance. 

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

After the designated room or contaminated area has been used the area should be cleaned by your service provider or in-house team in line with the cleaning strategy. PPE in line with the guidance is required. 

The member of staff that has helped the person who was taken unwell with symptoms should remove and securely dispose of the PPE and wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. If they feel their clothes have been contaminated, by someone coughing or sneezing on them, they should change these. They do not need to go home unless they themselves are symptomatic.

Deliveries and contractors attending the workplace

  • non-essential visits should be cancelled or postponed
  • visits should be scheduled for times when the setting is closed to children wherever possible, where this is not possible children should be moved from the area where work will be undertaken prior to arrival of the contractor and the area should be cleaned prior to readmitting the children to it
  • deliveries and other contractors who need to attend the workplace should be given clear instructions of your requirements while they are on site
  • minimise the number of staff attending to deliveries and contractors as much as possible
  • make hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) available for staff after physically handling deliveries
  • drivers to remain in vehicles and use contactless methods such as mobile phones to communicate with your staff wherever possible
  • ask deliveries and contractors to use electronic paperwork where possible
  • set up alternatives to requiring signatures and if a pen or other utensil is required for signature use your own or ask that it is cleaned or sanitised before use

Preparing to re-open

Consider the following steps:

  • refresh your risk assessment and other health and safety advice for children, young people and staff in light of recent government advice, identifying protective measures (such as the things listed above). Also ensure that all health and safety compliance checks are in line with your risk management systems (RMS) have been undertaken before opening
  • advice and support is available from the department health and safety leads
  • develop and implement site specific Safety Plans
  • organise small class groups or bubbles, as described in the ‘day-to-day management of the school’ section above
  • organise classrooms and other learning environments such as workshops and science labs for those groups, maintaining 1 metre space between seats and desks
  • consider how children and young people arrive at the educational or childcare setting, and reduce any unnecessary travel on public transport where possible
  • contact your catering service and inform that that these must remain closed 
  • students should bring their own packed lunches and consider staggering lunch breaks, ensuring children clean their hands before eating

Review the timetable: 

  • decide which lessons or activities will be delivered
  • consider which lessons or classroom activities could take place outdoors
  • use the timetable and selection of classroom or other learning environments to reduce movement around the school or building
  • schools should not have assemblies
  • stagger break times (including lunch), so that all children are not moving around the school at the same time
  • organise different marked areas in the playground / fields for class groups to play or exercise to help physical distancing
  • stagger drop-off and collection times
  • plan parents’ drop-off and pick-up protocols that minimise adult-to-adult contact, parents to stay in their cars etc
  • for secondary schools and colleges, consider how best to supplement remote education with some face-to-face support for students

In addition, early years groups in school should: 

  • establish how to keep small groups of children together throughout the day and to avoid larger groups of children mixing
  • plan how play equipment is used ensuring it is appropriately cleaned between groups of children using it 
  • remove unnecessary items from classrooms and other learning environments
  • remove soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean (such as those with intricate parts)

Points to communicate to parents/stakeholders:

  • tell children, young people, parents, carers or any visitors, such as approved contractors and service providers, not to enter the education or childcare setting if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19
  • display Government posters and signage in appropriate languages
  • tell parents that if their child needs to be accompanied to the educational or childcare setting, only one parent should attend, and strict physical distancing must be observed
  • tell parents and young people their allocated drop off and collection times and the process for doing so, including protocols for minimising adult-to-adult contact (for example, which entrance to use and where possible parents to stay in their cars)
  • make clear to parents that they cannot gather at entrance gates or doors, or enter the site (unless they have a pre-arranged appointment, which should be conducted safely)
  • when talking to staff about the plans (safety measures, timetable changes and staggered arrival and departure times etc), discuss whether training would be helpful
  • communicate early with contractors and suppliers that will need to prepare to support your plans for opening. For example, cleaning and hygiene suppliers. The department will assist with the review and implementation of this requirement
  • discuss with both in-house cleaning staff and contractors the additional cleaning requirements and agree additional hours to allow for this. The department will assist with the review and implementation of cleaning specifications and standards.

Parents, carers and children

Schools are advised to communicate directly with parents and children prior to their return. This will ensure they know what to expect when they arrive on their first day back and will enable parents, children and school staff to discuss any anxieties or practicalities prior to a return to school.

Checklist for parents and carers 

1. Monitor your child’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill

2. Teach and model good hygiene practices for your children:

  • Explain that they should wash their hands with soap and water frequently. As a minimum, children should wash their hands, on leaving home, before and after eating, after using any shared equipment / resources, after using the toilet, after sneezing or coughing and on returning home
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content). Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Ensure waste (such as used tissues) is safely collected, stored and disposed of
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose 

3. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you and their teachers. Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding.   

4. Prevent stigma by using facts and reminding your children to be considerate of one another.

5. Coordinate with the school to receive information and ask how you can support school safety efforts (though parent-teacher committees, etc.)   

Checklist for children and students

1. In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you are not alone and talk to someone you trust, like your parent or teacher so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy.  Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources. 

2. Protect yourself and others

  • Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Remember to not touch your face
  • Do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others

3. Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy

  • Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children
  • Model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands, especially for younger family members

4.Don’t stigmatize your peers or tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn’t follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age or ability or gender. 

 5. Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay home. 

Transition visits

Children can make transition visits as long as physical distancing and all usual hygiene measures are in place.

Mandatory and statutory building works 

During COVID-19 nothing has changed in relation to schools’ mandatory and statutory building works. All planned preventative maintenance programmed works have been carried out as normal and in line with the landlord responsibilities. Jersey Property Holdings (JPH) has flushed every school for the last eight weeks and this has been recorded. 

Asbestos – there is no change to existing arrangements and control measures are in place and the annual re-inspections will be completed during the course of the year.

Support services

It is recognised that this is challenging time for all. Additional help and support from a range of services and charities is available for everyone to access as they need. 

Guidance for early years

Under the Safe Exit Framework, the Government of Jersey has advised that schools and nurseries can start to open to more pupils, provided appropriate health, safety and hygiene control measures are put in place.

The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance regarding the necessary control measures required to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in early years settings (both for nurseries and registered child minders). 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a raft of additional considerations for early years settings but at the same time it is important to remember and consider all ongoing health and safety considerations, especially at a time where businesses are not operating as normal and where staff, that normally take responsibility for particular aspects of risk management, are not present. 

This guidance not only asks you to consider the risks and mitigation measures that you will need to put in place to address COVID-19 but also day-to-day operational risks.   

This guidance applies to all pre-schools and day nurseries registered under the Day Care of Children (Jersey) Law 2002 as an Early Years Provider and to all registered childminders.

Guiding principles 

The advice from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) and the Medical Officer for Health (MOH) is that the risks to the health, welfare and education of our children from a continued absence from school and nursery now outweigh the risks from COVID-19 and that children should return, as soon as is practically possible, whilst ensuring that public health measures can be maintained. 

The safety of children, staff and their families remains the absolute priority. 

The health risk to children from COVID-19 is considered by STAC and the MOH be low and there is increasing evidence that children play no greater role in the spread of the virus than adults.  Also, with low incidence of COVID-19 in the general population STAC and the MOH consider the risk of contracting the virus to be low.

Where possible all public health measures that apply across the Island should be applied in schools and child care settings, not only to protect the children but also the staff and family members.

It is acknowledged that younger children may struggle to adhere to the physical distancing and hygiene measures and a pragmatic approach should be adopted in such situations with the focus of attention being on:

  • ensure that symptomatic children are kept away from school
  • ensure that if a household member of a child has COVID-19 that those children isolate and are kept off school
  • ensure regular and thorough hand washing
  • ensure that the number of people that each child comes in contact with is limited 

Put a plan in place 

Every childcare facility opening during the COVID-19 pandemic must plan in advance how they are going to reduce the risk of spreading the virus during the course of operating. 

Early years and childcare settings have two critical areas to consider: 

  • protection of staff and their families 
  • protection of children and their families  

It is important to engage your staff in how to reduce the risk. Their involvement and commitment will be key to reducing risk for everyone. Before a setting opens, staff will need to understand how to minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and be provided with training where appropriate.

Early years settings and childminders should have a written plan and share it with staff:

  • where premises have remained closed during the lockdown period, appropriate health and safety checks should be conducted prior to reopening (including legionnaires checks
  • providers will need to provide a recovery plan with risk assessment, and this will be agreed with the CEYS team to ensure safe opening procedures are in place or have been planned for
  • the sample early years and childminder safety plan and risk assessments developed by CYPES can be used as a starting point

Protecting staff and their families 

Early years settings and childminders should follow the general guidance for all businesses operating during Safe Exit.  

Protecting pupils and their families 

Although it is important for schools and early years settings to consider all public health guidance applicable at this time, early years settings provide a set of particular challenges that have to be considered separately. 

Symptoms

If a child or a member of staff has symptoms, or someone in their household has symptoms, they should not be in the setting.

Children and staff with symptoms must follow the isolation advice. If a child or member of staff have symptoms or someone in their household has symptoms, they need to immediately isolate at home and then call the helpdesk on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to arrange testing. They should follow the isolation guidance to determine when they can come back into the setting.

Child care providers do not need to inform other parents that a child is symptomatic unless they are shown to be COVID positive by PCR test (the same would apply to staff.)  If a child in the setting is confirmed COVID-19 then contact tracing may involve testing (see below) of some or all of the children in the setting. 

A register must be in place to record the contact details of all those that are on site each day such as parents, approved contractors and external agencies in addition to a register as to which children are present within each group and in what room. If children are off with COVID-19 symptoms this should also be recorded.

Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a child showing symptoms comes to setting, the child will be isolated, and arrangements made to send them home.

Testing

If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 they should immediately call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to arrange testing.

If the test comes back positive they will be contacted by the Environmental Health contact tracing team who will advise on what this means regarding the isolation of the individual, their family and their contacts. 

The contact tracing team will contact the Manager with a view to advising on isolation and testing for other members of the setting. In this instance they will need to know who was in the facility at the same time as the positive case and who is likely to have had close contact with the individual (i.e. who is in their bubble, please see below). The contract tracing team will request to see these records.  Under the current advice is it likely that all members of the bubble which the child or staff member is in will have to follow the isolation advice.

If a positive case is confirmed within the early years setting the Manager should inform the CEYS team who can provide further support on how to manage the situation and communicate with parents.

The early years setting should follow the cleaning strategy for guidance on cleaning after a confirmed case.

Day-to-day management of the early years setting

STAC have advised that in this setting children no longer need to be in a 'bubble', however, as far as practical the following approach should be followed: 

  • same group – children stay in the same groups at all times. Different groups are to avoid mixing during the day, or on subsequent days
  • same location - ensure that wherever possible children use the same room or area (this could be a sectioned off part of a hall) throughout the day and on subsequent days
  • same facilities – if possible assign toilets to set groups of children.  Consider allocating specific areas of the outdoor area for each group
  • it is preferable for the same staff to be assigned to each group and where possible they should not move between different groups of children.   Settings should record which children are in each group, which location and facilities they are assigned to and which staff are associated with each group.  This will facilitate contact tracing and cleaning should someone become symptomatic or test positive. It is accepted that in order to provide sufficient cover or to support a child, staff will need to go into more than one class, however, this number should be kept as low as possible 
  • visitors to the premises should be kept to an absolute minimum. A register must be in place to record the contact details of all those that are on site each day such as parents, approved contractors and external agencies, in addition to a register recording which children are present within each group.

While primary schools and early years settings should ensure that groups of children are kept within class group bubbles and apart as much as possible, it is acknowledged that this will not always be achievable.

Measures to keep children within class group bubbles and apart include: planning for staggered and segregated breaks and lunches where possible and may also include zoning areas within the setting for use as social space.  

Schools and early years settings will need to consider the use of staggered break and lunch times, to minimise the number of children and young people moving around at the same time.  The intention should be that mixing of class bubbles is avoided, wherever possible, and minimised where it cannot be avoided.

Within the Foundation Stage it is recognised that for certain parts of the school day, notably at the beginning and end of the school day and during breaks and lunchtime, a whole Foundation Stage bubble approach may be required. It is important to minimise the amount of time this whole Foundation Stage bubble is together. So for example if it cannot be avoided lunchtime and break times can be supervised in phases i.e. several Foundation Stage classes together. 

Where the use of shared play spaces occurs, e.g. the outdoor learning area, this can be accessible for periods of time provided appropriate sanitation and hand hygiene routines are followed.

It is accepted that in order to provide sufficient cover, staff, including lunchtime supervisors, will need to go into more than one class, however, this number should be kept as low as possible.  

Physical distancing

Considering the increasing evidence including from other countries where schools have already re-opened, STAC members have made clear that:

  • they continue to support the reduction to 1 metre distancing in schools between age groups that can understand and adhere i.e. secondary school age
  • as of 22 June educational settings which have had groups with 'bubbles', do not need to distance as this is difficult to implement and can have a negative effect on child development and learning experiences. Bubbles can therefore increase to full class/room sizes
  • distancing between bubbles of children can be applied where practical but is not essential. The concept of bubbles is to reduce contact and not necessarily to prevent contact
  • the risk to practitioners from children with reduced or no physical distancing is not increased
  • physical distancing of 1 metre between adults from a different household in settings is recommended
  • physical distancing between adults and children should be one metre  where possible but if not possible, close contact is recommended to be kept to under 15 minutes

Strict adherence to physical distancing is not possible for young children and early years' settings are not designed to have separation between all children and staff at all times.

It is therefore accepted that physical distancing will not always be possible between the children, and between the children and the staff.  However, physical distancing between individuals in different class size groups should be maintained wherever possible.

Where there is more than one group  within a room there should be some kind of physical barrier (such as a partition) that prevents children from one group  being able to easily interact with another group.

It may be necessary to operate at reduced capacity and the number of staff and children in attendance each day needs to be considered. The following should be considered:

  • stagger entry times into nursery and lunch times, to minimise gatherings of children and parents
  • children should remain in their group for lunch and should not mix with other groups
  • groups of children should only be in the outdoor spaces at the same time if you can ensure that groups will not mix
  • play equipment that cannot be cleaned between different groups of children should not be used (e.g. climbing frames or soft play)
  • although it will not be possible for staff to maintain 1 metre physical distance from children in their allocated group they should ensure that keep 1 metre away from all other staff, parents and children in other groups
  • encourage staff to physically distance themselves through increased visual prompts and information
  • limit the number of people in the staff room at the same time  
  • where possible, create a one-way system for circulation, entering and leaving the buildings, using tape and signs to indicate the direction of flow/travel, no entry etc
  • place a divider down the middle of the corridor to keep groups apart as they move through the setting where spaces are accessed by corridors
  • access rooms directly from outside where possible
  • restrict hallway and staircase use through staggered release of groups/bubbles
  • discourage the use of public transport by staff if possible, or if not feasible, recommending that staff travel at off peak times and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content), before and after travelling on public transport
  • stagger staff breaks and encourage staff to physically distance themselves in break rooms and when using shared spaces. If the physical space within a staff room does not allow for 1 metre physical distancing, then only one member of staff should use the facility at any one time
  • no food should be prepared in the staff room 
  • drinks can be prepared subject to strict hygienic precautions
  • staff should only use their own utensils and wash these themselves, preferably with a dishwasher
  • the room should be well-ventilated
  • staff should take their break in the same group or work bubble where possible
  • put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of measures to ensure they remain effective 

Hand-washing and respiratory hygiene

Regular and thorough hand-washing is essential for everyone within an early years setting. The following should be followed: 

  • regular and thorough hand-washing by staff, children, and all visitors
  • hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds and dried thoroughly using paper towels
  • as a minimum, children should wash their hands-on entry into the setting, after breaks, before and after eating, after going to the toilet, after using any shared equipment / resources, and after sneezing or coughing and before going home
  • ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
  • provide hand sanitiser hand gel (with 60-70% alcohol content) dispensers is available for staff use. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled
  • ensure that sufficient hand-washing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) in classrooms and other learning environments
  • ensure proportionate supplies of soap, anti-bacterial gel and cleaning products are supplied
  • encourage children not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
  • encourage children to use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze into and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
  • consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition 
It is recommended that staff in early years settings should get changed as soon as they arrive home from work and should wash their work clothes every day.

Toilets 

  • ensure that toilets do not become crowded by limiting the number of children or young people who use the toilet facilities at one time 
  • switch off hand dryers and provide paper towels
  • ensure waste bins are emptied safely and regularly throughout the day

Reduce the use of shared resources 

  • limit the amount of shared resources and wherever possible clean between the use of different groups of children
  • limit the resources that children take home and store each item for 72 hours before giving to another child (for example if children bring back a book on Monday then don’t issue it to another child until Friday)
  • shared materials and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected frequently and must be cleaned between use by different bubbles of children

Drop off and pick up

  • parents should be encouraged not to congregate at drop off and pick up times.  Consider staggering drop off and pick up times if this is not possible to manage
  • the provider must take responsibility for ensuring that parents and children maintain 1 metre physical distancing from other households when outside the premises

Ventilation

Where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units. 

Lunch

Any in-house catering or food preparation should follow the food preparation guidance.  Children should have lunch in their bubbles and should wash their hands thoroughly before and after eating.

Outdoor space 

Use outdoor space as much as possible for learning and recreation. 

Cleaning premises and equipment 

Advice on cleaning can be found on the business advice and cleaning strategy.   
Cleaning is one way to remove the virus that causes COVID-19. Employers should ensure:

  • frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doors, windows, tables, countertops, nappy change areas and toys are cleaned regularly using appropriate detergent solutions. Once cleaned, they should ideally be disinfected regularly using appropriate disinfectant solutions
  • personal items such as phones, glasses and workstation equipment such as keyboards are cleaned and ideally disinfected frequently (e.g. using alcohol wipes)
  • amenities including kitchens, communal areas, change rooms, showers and drink fountains, should be cleaned following enhanced cleaning guidance and the frequency of this cleaning should increase
  • toilets must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every hour because of the frequent gastrointestinal shedding of the coronavirus
  • where it is safe to do so prop doors open (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation. Check to ensure all fire doors are closed at the end of each day 
  • staff should be provided with cleaning agents and trained to clean down and disinfect equipment immediately after use
  • hand-washing facilities or hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) should be available for staff to use after they dispose of their waste
  • to minimise the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus the person cleaning should wear an apron and gloves and wash their hands or use hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) before and after wearing gloves. Gloves and hand sanitiser should be made available throughout the setting
  • put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of cleaning measures to ensure they remain effective
  • items such as towels, flannels and bedding must not be shared by children and washed daily in a hot wash (on a cycle of at least 60 °C and tumble dried if possible)
  • ensure that bins for tissues and hand towels are emptied throughout the day

Hand sanitiser in early years settings

Hand sanitiser is not recommended for very young children. Thorough washing with mild soap and water should be used instead.  Hand sanitiser can be provided for use by adults within the early years setting but you must be able to ensure that children do not have access to it. If this cannot be guaranteed, then the hand sanitiser should not be kept on the premises.

Staff Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)  

PPE for COVID-19 is not required or recommended in any early years setting. PPE will be available in each facility for use in the event of a child or member of staff becoming symptomatic and needing care prior to leaving the premises. 

Follow the guidance on the use of cloth masks.

Administering first aid and intimate care

Where a child requires first aid and other essential care and it is not possible for the child to administer it to themselves under supervision of an adult and it is not appropriate to wait for a parent to arrive the staff member can get closer than 1 metre to the child. If possible, this should be the member of staff that is assigned to their bubble, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible.

In such cases no additional PPE, other than that which would be normally recommended to complete the task, is necessary.

The staff member should be reminded to thoroughly wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before and after attending to the child.

Symptoms while at nursery or with a childminder 

Ensure that all staff are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Provide a single designated room, or if possible an outdoor area, as a defined contaminated zone and keep the student / staff member there until they are picked up. Open a window if possible.

Call the parents, or nearest family member (in the case of a member of staff) to arrange collection. They should be advised to contact the Coronavirus helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 as soon as possible. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. 

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

Staff attending to the sick person should wear PPE before entering any contaminated zone and remain in PPE until they leave. PPE will be provided to each nursery / childminder setting in line with the guidance. 

After the designated room or contaminated area has been used the area should be cleaned by your service provider or in-house team in line with the cleaning strategy. PPE in line with the guidance is required. 

The member of staff that has helped the person who was taken unwell with symptoms should remove and securely dispose of the PPE and wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. If they feel their clothes have been contaminated, by someone coughing or sneezing on them, they should change these. They do not need to go home unless they themselves are symptomatic.

Deliveries and contractors attending the workplace

  • non-essential visits should be cancelled or postponed
  • visits should be scheduled for times when the setting is closed to children wherever possible, where this is not possible children should be moved from the area where work will be undertaken prior to arrival of the contractor and the area should be cleaned prior to readmitting the children to it
  • deliveries and other contractors who need to attend the workplace should be given clear instructions of your requirements while they are on site
  • minimise the number of staff attending to deliveries and contractors as much as possible
  • make hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) available for staff after physically handling deliveries
  • drivers to remain in vehicles and use contactless methods such as mobile phones to communicate with your staff wherever possible
  • ask deliveries and contractors to use, electronic paperwork where possible
  • set up alternatives to requiring signatures and if a pen or other utensil is required for signature use your own or ask that it is cleaned or sanitised before use

Preparing to re-open

Consideration should be given to the following:

  • plan to support the forming of class/room sizes in individual physical spaces
  • designated staff should be assigned to each bubble and meet required adult : child ratios
  • the maximum number of children will be the equivalent of class or room size, this will be determined as part of your recovery plan and the size of your premises and layout
  • children and staff should remain in the same group with the same children every day where possible
  • all ratios must continue to be met as per the Early Years Statutory Requirements 
  • staffing ensures appropriate cover for break/non-contact times across the service
  • the use of communal internal spaces should be restricted as much as possible
  • outdoor spaces should be used by different groups at different times of the day
  • consideration should be given to limiting the number of staff in the nursery at any one time to only those required to care for the expected occupancy levels on any given day
  • plan a range of resources that can be used within each group and stored separately from other bubbles
  • if rotating toys between children in different groups, ensure the toys are cleaned frequently and after use by each bubble if toys cannot be thoroughly cleaned they should not be in use
  • all staff continue to develop bespoke learning experiences based on the assessment in each child’s individual profile

Practice and provision

Consider the risks / benefits of the activities and resources you use with the children:

  • keep separate resources for your children where possible, for example mark making sets, painting tools, craft tools etc
  • all children should be spread out when coming together for meals and snacks, stagger this where possible
  • no sharing of food, cutlery, crockery or self-service of food should take place
  • hard toys are preferred, as these can be wiped clean after play
  • the condition of toys and equipment should be part of the monitoring process and any damaged item that cannot be cleaned or repaired should be discarded
  • stop using soft toys, dressing up costumes
  • outdoor water play troughs and sand pits can be used with close attention to hand hygiene and sanitising of the tools and equipment used before and after activities
  • water can be used outside to water plants
  • modelling and play dough should only be used if you can store this for each child separately and this is not shared between other children
  • resources should be cleaned and wiped regularly
  • water can be used outside to water plants as long as receptacles are not shared
  • for babies and younger child physical contact is necessary and essential for positive brain development.  Ensure you follow the hygiene rules and ensure you minimise any risk with regular hand-washing and ensuring daily personal hygiene is maintained 
  • children should be supported in age appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular hand-washing and sneezing into a tissue 
  • children should be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of COVID-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time
  • equipment used by staff such as stationary, tablets etc. should be allocated to individual staff members where possible and cleaned regularly

Parents

Parents using your service should be informed of the following:

  • keep your child at home if they or someone else in your household has symptoms
  • understand that children who arrive at a setting displaying symptoms will be sent home
  • if your child has been advised to shield then they should be kept at home
  • do not use public transport if you or your child are sick
  • consider the health of family members when deciding whether your child should return to early years settings
  • remind your child that they are expected to follow good hygiene practices - wash and dry hands regularly, cough into their elbow, don’t touch their face, and use hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content)
  • let your child know that they will see more cleaning
  • talk to your child about why it is important that they do not share any food or drinks with others
  • children should not be permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing. Where this is the case items should be appropriately cleaned upon arrival
  • ensure travel accessories including buggies, car seats and scooters are not left on the setting premises, but rather in external buggy shelters if necessary

Drop off and pick up

  • explain to your child why it’s important that they must arrive and leave the grounds at their allotted time
  • let the children know that parents are not allowed into the provision and they will say goodbye to them outside the door where they will be met by a member of staff they know
  • at pick up time talk to your child about trying to remember all their things and that you will be waiting outside to collect them. Staff will support this

Early Years provision will not be the same

  • talk to your child about groups
  • talk to them about the group rules 
  • let your child know they may be with different children
  • ensure they know which adults are there and that there is always someone they can talk to if they need to
  • let them know their space may be set up differently
  • let them know they can bring in a comforter, preferable one which can be wiped clean 

Leaders and Managers

  • keep your knowledge of the COVID-19 situation up to date. Follow advice from the Childcare and Early Years Team (CEYS) and check daily for any updates
  • ensure you understand your business and its hazards and risks
  • risk assessments should be reviewed to ensure they are up to date
  • make sure your workplace is properly resourced to manage risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and check that the resources are being used
  • review your policies, procedures and reporting processes to ensure they remain current for any incidents, hazards and other issues that arise during this time. Update these materials if necessary
  • ensure these are communicated clearly and processes are being followed
  • consult with staff and ensure there is a means for them to raise any concerns about the steps you are taking to manage the risks

Support services

It is recognised that this is challenging time for all. Additional help and support from a range of services and charities is available for everyone to access as they need.

Guidance for childminders

Make sure you also read

  • In addition to the guidance for childminders you need to follow the guidance for early years and adapt them as appropriate for the home care setting.

Put a plan in place

All childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic should plan in advance how they are going to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

In the case of childminders that welcome children into their homes you should consider:

  • protection of the children and their families
  • protection of yourself, your children and your family
After reading this guidance you should discuss with your families whether they deem it appropriate for their child to return to your care and discuss what measures you will put in place to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

Childminders should ensure that they have a single set of PPE available (consisting of disposable gloves, disposable apron and surgical grade mask). In the case of a child starting to display COVID-19 symptoms whilst in your care, you should put on the PPE and contact parents to collect their child immediately.

Limit the number contacts each child has

All the children that the childminder looks after are considered part of a ‘bubble’ and therefore it is understood that they will have contact with each other and share play resources while inside private property. The number of children is limited to the number that the childminder is registered for.

Due to the flexible nature of childminder work it was understood that there are instances when there will be mixing of bubbles between the childminder and school settings, for example where wrap-around school care is provided or where a childminder looks after their own children after school.  Although the mixing of bubbles should be limited as much as possible it is accepted that in such instances it can occur. If the childminder looks after children that are also in school settings, when the child arrives into the childminders house directly from school they should change out of their school clothes and thoroughly wash their hands.

It is important that outside of the childcare setting both the childminder and the children they are looking after strictly follow the physical distancing guidelines. 

Childminders should suspend trips that could expose the children to potential community spread of COVID-19 (shops, supermarkets, indoor play areas, playgroups, play dates in other people’s houses) but children are encouraged to safely use outdoor spaces where physical distancing under the current Government guidelines permit. 

Physical distancing

Updated 26 June

The childminder and the parents should discuss and agree their approach to physical distancing with the children. They should ensure that they are consistent in their explanation to the children and how they approach ensuring the children adhere to it. 

  • where possible walk or use your own private vehicle as opposed to public transport
  • physical distancing is difficult for young children to follow and it is understood that within the bubble of the childminder and the children in their care it will not be possible to adhere to it 
  • when outside a private house physical distancing with people outside of their household and not in their direct care should be maintained 
  • childminders should avoid taking children to places where there are lots of people or into other people's homes 
  • they should only meet up with people from outside their household in an outdoor setting where there is plenty of space to adhere to the 1 metre rule 
  • the childminder should maintain physical distance with family members of the children and others that you are not directly caring for 

Childminders should take 'reasonably practicable steps' to ensure that the children observe safe distancing from those outside their household. As childminders are deemed to be 'in their workplace' while looking after the children in their care they do not have to maintain the physical distancing rule from the children in their care.

Car journeys

The number of car journeys taken with the children should be limited as much as possible. 

Before and after travelling by car the frequent touch points in the vehicle (handles, car seat clips, seat belt clips) should be cleaned.  

When out of the house regular handwashing should be maintained.  When it is not possible then hand sanitiser (with 60-70% alcohol content) should be used although this should be limited to occasional use in pre-school children and only when there is no alternative available.

When possible the car windows / roof should be kept open during the journey to allow air flow.

Cleaning

Before children come into your home each day you should ensure that the house (or the parts of the house the children will be using) is thoroughly cleaned with particular attention being given to regular touch points (door handles, light switches, hand rails) and toilet areas.

If possible, limit the rooms of the house that you will use in order to make cleaning easier.

Toys and equipment that is handled by children should be sanitised daily. Toys and equipment that is used by children in different bubbles should be cleaned between use,

Toys and equipment such as water play, and sand pits that is only used by one bubble of children can be used, with frequently touched items sanitised daily.

Frequently used items should be cleaned regularly throughout the day (for example baby monitors and car seats etc).

Toys that cannot be sanitised should not be used.

After the children have left the cleaning (as detailed above) should be repeated to help protect those in the household.

For further information and advice registered childminders should email the CEYS team at ceys@gov.je.

Guidance for nannies

Nannies are able to return to work from 8 June in a private home, providing that the relevant public health guidance is followed. 

Employers should follow the guidance that all businesses operating at this time are required to adhere to Safe Exit advice for all businesses.

In addition, the following guidance that is specific to nannies should be adhered to,

Guiding principles

The safety of children, nannies and their families remains the absolute priority. 

The health risk to children from COVID-19 is considered by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) and the Medical Officer for Health (MOH) to be low and there is increasing evidence that children play no greater role in the spread of the virus than adults. Also, with low incidence of COVID-19 in the general population STAC and the MOH consider the risk of contracting the virus to be low.

Where possible all public health measures that apply across the Island should be applied in schools and child care settings, not only to protect the children but also the staff and family members.

It is acknowledged that younger children may struggle to adhere to the physical distancing and hygiene measures and a pragmatic approach should be adopted in such situations with the focus of attention being on:

  • ensure that symptomatic children are kept away from those outside of their household
  • ensure that if a household member of a child has COVID-19 that those children are also kept away from those outside of their household
  • ensure regular and thorough hand washing
  • ensure that the number of people that each child comes in contact with is limited

Put a plan in place

Every employer during the COVID-19 pandemic (including those employing nannies) should plan in advance how they are going to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

In the case of families that employ nannies you should consider:

  • protection of your nanny and their family
  • protection of your children and your family

After reading this guidance the employer should discuss with their nanny whether they both deem it appropriate for the nanny to return to work in that one home and what measures they will put in place to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

An open line of communication between each employer and nanny is essential and each employer and nanny should consider their individual circumstances accordingly.

Symptoms

The nanny must ensure that they strictly follow the isolation guidance if they, or a family member, are confirmed as COVID-19 or have symptoms. They should not attend work.

The employer must ensure that they also strictly follow the isolation guidance if they, or a family member, are confirmed as COVID-19 or have symptoms. Under such circumstances the nanny should not come to work until the isolation period has ended.

Employers should ensure that they have a single set of PPE available in the house for the nanny (consisting of disposable gloves, disposable apron and surgical grade mask). In the case of a child or the nanny starting to display COVID-19 symptoms while the nanny is at work, the nanny should put on the PPE provided by their employers and contact them to request their return to the home immediately. 

The employer should call the coronavirus helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to arrange testing and for guidance on isolation.

Hand-washing and respiratory hygiene  

Regular and thorough hand-washing is essential for everyone.  The following should be followed:

  • regular and thorough hand-washing by the nanny and children should be encouraged
  • hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds and dried thoroughly using paper towels
  • as a minimum children and the nanny should wash their hands when coming back into the house after an outing, after using the toilet, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing and before leaving the house
  • ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
  • the employer should provide hand sanitiser hand gel (70%) for use when hand-washing is not appropriate (for example in the car and on outings)
  • the employer should make sure that these dispensers are regularly refilled and make sure that no young children will have unsupervised access to hand sanitiser
  • ensure that sufficient hand-washing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser in classrooms and other learning environments
  • ensure proportionate supplies of soap, anti-bacterial gel and cleaning products are supplied
  • encourage children not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
  • encourage children to use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze into and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’) 
  • consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition 

Limit the number contacts each child has

Updated 17 June

While looking after children within their home the nanny and the children in their care are considered part of a 'bubble' and therefore it is understood that they will have contact with each other and share play resources while inside the children's house and garden.

It is important that outside of the childcare setting both the nanny and the children, they are looking after, strictly follow the physical distancing guidelines. 

Nannies should suspend trips that could expose the children to potential community spread of COVID-19 (indoor play areas, playgroups, play dates in other people's houses) but children are encouraged to safely use outdoor spaces where physical distancing under the current Government guidelines permit.

Physical distancing

Updated 26 June

The nanny and the parents should discuss and agree their approach to physical distancing with the children. They should ensure that they are consistent in their explanation to the children and how they approach physical distancing to ensure the children adhere to it:

  • where possible walk or use your own private vehicle as opposed to public transport 
  • the nanny should maintain physical distance with family members of the children and others that you are not directly caring for 
  • physical distancing is difficult for young children to follow and it is understood that within the bubble of the nanny and the children in their care it will not be possible to adhere to it 
  • when outside a private house physical distancing with people outside of their household and not in their direct care should be maintained 
  • nannies should avoid taking children to places where there are lots of people or into other people's homes
  • they should only meet up with people from outside their household in an outdoor setting where there is plenty of space to adhere to the 1 metre rule

Outings

Nannies should take steps to ensure that while away from the house children within their care adhere to the Safe Distancing Regulations. They should take 'reasonably practicable steps' to ensure that the children observe safe distancing from those outside their household.

As nannies are deemed to be 'in their workplace' while looking after the children in their care they do not have to maintain the 1 metre rule from the children in their care and are therefore able to safely take them on outings.

Car journeys

The number of car journeys taken with the children should be limited as much as possible. 

Before and after travelling by car the frequent touch points in the vehicle (handles, car seat clips, seat belt clips) should be cleaned.  

When out of the house regular handwashing should be maintained.  When it is not possible then hand sanitiser should be used although this should be limited to occasional use in pre-school children and only when there is no alternative available.

When possible the car windows / roof should be kept open during the journey to allow air flow.

Cleaning

Before the nanny comes to work the employer should ensure that the house (or the parts of the house the nanny will be using) is thoroughly cleaned with particular attention being given to regular touch points (door handles, light switches, hand rails) and toilet areas.

If possible, limit the rooms of the house that the nanny will use in order to make cleaning easier.

Toys that are handled by children should be sanitised daily.

Frequently used items should be cleaned regularly throughout the day (for example baby monitors, car seats etc).

Toys that cannot be sanitised should not be used.

Live-in nannies

Nannies that live in the same property as the family are considered to be part of their household and the public health guidance should be applied as such. When out of the house live-in nannies should aim to take ‘reasonably practicable steps’ for them and the children in the care to observe safe distancing.

Shared nannies

In Level 2, nannies can move between 2 families providing that all public health guidance is adhered to at all times. One nanny could work between two households and this would create a one nanny bubble. This would mean that the nanny could work in both homes and outings could take place with the children from within this one bubble. 

  • one nanny can move between two families providing that all measures to reduce risk of infection are always adhered to 
  • one nanny could work between two households and this would create a one nanny bubble. This would mean that the nanny could work in both homes and outings could take place with the children from within this one bubble 
  • keep group sizes to a maximum of six children 
  • while looking after children within their homes the nanny and the children in their care are considered part of a 'bubble' and therefore it is understood that they will have contact with each other and share play resources while inside the children's house and garden, etc. 

Contact

If you haven't found the information you are looking for, contact the CYPES Hub cypeshub@gov.je.

Videos

Helpful videos on the return of schools for parents and children:

Cleaning strategy

Cleaning strategy

Sample risk assessment

Sample risk assessment

Sample safety plan

Sample safety plan

Sample cleaning schedule

Sample cleaning schedule

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