Wishing Well Family Centre – Operational Guidance

(subject to change)

It goes without saying that the safety of the children and of our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest& ever changing government guidance, to develop and implement new ways of operating. This will allow us to operate as safely as possible, adhering to measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting.


Every day parent/carer must complete a Covid 19 disclaimer before your child will be allowed to attend. This will record daily if the child or any family member has been diagnosed or is displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.

A temperature check will also be carried out at reception and the child will continue into the building through a tray of disinfectant. This procedure is also in place for all staff. If a child’s temperature is in the amber zone we may still allow them to attend but we will closely monitor them throughout the day and if this rises they will be sent home. If your child’s temperature is in the red zone we will not accept them into nursery. If a child is unwell at all we will ask parents/carers to keep them at home and contact us before their session begins.

We want children to feel safe, happy and stimulated in our setting and to feel secure and comfortable with our staff in the absence of their parents.

Government restriction shave resulted in limited access to the building for parents so to manage the arrival and departure of children from the front of the setting, at least 2 Managers/staff will be present, they will sign the children in / out to minimise the risk of cross infection. We advise parents and carers to follow guidance given by signage in entering the building, physically distancing from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household. All children’s belongings should be clearly labelled including juice cups, dummy’s etc.

We encourage children not to bring toys or other items from home to the setting, unless this is essential to their health and wellbeing. If a child is upset/unsettled we will attempt to comfort and settle, if we are unable to do so we may allow one parent to accompany their child but due to Government guidelines a parent cannot stay in any area for longer than 15 mins. However, if a child becomes overly distressed we will contact the parent / carer and we may discuss a reduction of hours/sessions for the child to attend to allow time to settle.

From 21st October 2020 we in line with Government regulations have asked parent/carers/visitors to wear a face covering when entering the building.

In setting

All children and staff are placed within play pods, children and staff remain at all times to their allocated rooms/play pods. Group sizes will be subject to a risk assessment to ensure compliance with best available guidance and PHA advice in order to ensure staff feel safe at all times. Where possible the same groups (staff and children) will be maintained from day to day to minimise the risk of infection spreading throughout the setting and to provide a level of continuity for the children. If a member of staff is asked to change pod for any reason they will sanitise and change clothing. If staff need to consult with some-one in a different area, where possible phones should be used.

At present we have no sand play, soft furnishing or dressing up clothes to minimise the risk of cross infection. Items such as play dough can be used but each child should have individual pieces in labelled personal containers or discarded on the day.

We use outdoor spaces to create more distance and open windows to keep fresh air circulating. Art work will be removed from displays on a Friday and sent home on a Monday.

Toys, equipment and surfaces are to be cleaned at the end of each session and regularly throughout the day. Toys available to the children will be rotated so they can be adequately cleaned between rotations.

Outdoor play operates within the designated groups and there will be no mixing of the groups in outdoor areas. Hands should be washed before & immediately after outdoor play time. Outdoor equipment will be cleaned before and after use particularly things that hands touch i.e. railings, handles etc.

 With regards to physical contact for example for nappy changing / toileting / nose cleaning the existing policies around intimate care and infection control will apply i.e. use of gloves / disposable apron / hand washing.

If a child needs a change of clothes staff should follow guidance and then place the clothes in a plastic bag tie it securely and place into child’s bag.

All cot sheets and blankets are changed after each child and washed at the end of each day.

Frequent hand washing is common practice throughout the day with liquid soap and tepid water for at least 20 seconds. If liquid soap and water are not readily available, (when outdoors etc.) we use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser/wipes with at least 60% alcohol. We continue to promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

For cleaning of surfaces and toys which is done at the end of each session and throughout the day staff will first use a disposable cloth to clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with cleaning products/disinfectant, paying particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces such as toilets, grab rails and door handles.

 Snacks & Meals

These will be provided in the room that the children are allocated to.

Tables will be cleaned before and after meals / snacks.

Staff will be the only ones to handle utensils and serve food to reduce the spread of germs. Each child will have their food set onto their plate and given to them, the ‘buffet break’ or help yourself from a central plate method will not be used at this time.

When preparing snacks staff must ensure no more than 2 people are in the kitchen at any one time and that they use opposite sides of the kitchen maintaining social distance as per guidelines.

Staggered break/lunch times are in place for staff and they will supply their own lunches/drinks and if when using the kitchen area it should be used by maximum two people at a time. All equipment and work surfaces must be cleaned thoroughly after use.

What we will do if children / staff or parents develop COVID-19 symptoms

Staff or children with a high temperature of 37.8°or more, a new continuous cough or loss smell or taste should get a test immediately. If test is positive, self-isolate for 10days. If negative return to setting when feeling well.

Staff must follow normal reporting procedures. Parents must contact 02890 740454 prior to their agreed start time. Staff or children with household members who are known to have COVID-19 should also stay away from the setting for 14 days and notify us.

If a child or a member of staff develops symptoms of COVID-19 while in the setting they should immediately be taken to a designated isolation room, where a designated staff member will supervise the child at a safe distance until parent/carer is able to collect. If the child becomes acutely unwell – staff will follow normal procedure and call an ambulance and inform the parent / carer.

Parents of other children who have been in contact with that child will be informed and advised to follow the guidance for households as per www.gov.uk.

Staff who have been in contact with that child – management must risk assess any staff exposure from child with suspected Covid-19 to determine need for isolation.

All families travelling abroad must follow Government guidance in regards to self-isolation on return.

Visitors/service users

When entering the building visitors/service usersneed to complete a Covid 19disclaimer and have a temperature check before continuing into the building through a tray of disinfectant. We encourage visitors and service users to follow government guidance in regards to social distancing while in the building.

Relevant software is available to conduct meetings remotely although at this time face to face meetings are discouraged.

Outside agencies using our facilities must follow ours and their own guidance at all times.

Reducing the spread of infection

Wash hands regularly – for at least 20 seconds

Cover your mouth & nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze

Put used tissues in bin immediately and wash hands

Keep the 2 metre social distance rule

When using centre minibus

All staff will wear appropriate face coverings, children’s hands are sanitised before getting on the bus, no food or drink can be consumed, where possible the children will be seated in family groups and on their own designated seat.

We would also encourage for track & tracing downloading the StopCOVID NI app.