The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our world more than we could have ever imagined. Whilst the threat of the pandemic is easing, it is important to remain aware of the risks and do what we can to protect those who are vulnerable.
As childcare providers we have a responsibility to help minimise the risk, and protect and support children and families.
Provide Clear Information to Parents and Carers
Whilst covid rules and restrictions have been lifted, it is vital that we continue to exchange information with parents and families and clearly communicate the procedures we are following within our settings. Not only will this provide clarity to all those involved but it can help to reassure parents that you are doing everything necessary to keep their children safe.
Download our FREE Coronavirus Information Sheet to share essential information about the Coronavirus, it’s symptoms, where to find the latest government advice, and explain the procedures your setting will follow to minimise risk and disruption. Edit to suit your setting and circumstances.
Revised April 2022 following the lifting of rules and restrictions.
Display our FREE Please KEEP your child at HOME if…POSTER to remind parents and carers of your illness procedures and when they must keep children at home. Help to prevent the spread of infection in your setting and keep EVERYONE safe!
Keep Up to Date with Advice
It is important that we all keep up to date with the latest government and health advice so as we can do everything necessary to protect one another.
You should also refer to advice specific to childcare settings.
Providers in Scotland can keep up to date with the latest developments and guidance on the Scottish Government website, the Care Inspectorate website and the SCMA’s FAQs and information for childminders on Coronavirus.
Providers in England can keep up to date with the latest developments and guidance on the Government website.
Providers in Wales should regularly check Care Inspectorate Wales
Providers in England and Wales can also refer to PACEY’s Coronavirus Information.
Maintain Excellent Hygiene Procedures
For the safety of everyone attending your setting, any staff you employ and that of your own family, you should maintain excellent levels of hygiene.
Follow your hygiene and illness policies religiously and consider what more you can do to minimise risk. For example:
- Assist children in washing their hands immediately as they arrive at your setting and regularly throughout the day. (e.g. after using the toilet, playing outside, touching animals, before eating any meals or snacks)
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of hygiene products such as antibacterial soap and disposable paper towels to enable everyone to wash and dry their hands properly, tissues and antibacterial cleaners.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as toys, equipment, door handles and table tops.
- Ensure good ventilation within the setting by keeping windows open where possible and not closing doors for small rooms.
- Provide children with their own cup or water bottle and where possible their own cutlery. All crockery and cutlery should be cleaned with general purpose detergent and dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use.
- Take additional precautions around activities that would increase the risk of virus spread such as close contact games, holding hands, face painting or sharing materials.
A Coronavirus Policy will help you to explain additional safety measures you have in place.
Find our Coronavirus, Hygiene and Illness policy templates in the Policies & Procedures Pack – Edit as you require to ensure everyone is clear on your setting procedures.
AND refer to the Risk Assessments Pack for our Coronavirus Risk Assessment template.
Check Contracts & Care Arrangements
It is important to ensure that everyone is clear on the conditions of their childcare arrangements and whether or not fees are still payable during periods of illness, absence or unexpected closure.
Childcare contracts help to clarify from the start, the terms of any childcare agreement, setting out clearly fees, charges, payment instructions and time restraints along with any other agreed special conditions.
Whether you already have contracts in place, or if you are setting out new ones for new care or temporary care arrangements, you should make sure that ALL contracts are regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.
Our Childminding Contracts Pack can help you set out professional childcare arrangements for all children in your care.
Includes an Addendum to Existing Contract Form and an Enforced Closure Clause
As per CMA guidelines all charges must be fair and reasonable, agreed with parents in advance and clearly set out.
It is also essential that parents keep you updated with important information about their child, for example; allergies, special dietary requirements, medical conditions or additional support needs and emergency contact details and also inform you of their preferences with regards to methods of communication.
Our Care Plans and Confirmation of Information & Preferences Form will allow you to gather all of the information you require.
Find them both in the Care Plans & Consents Pack
Evaluate your service
All childcare providers are required to self-evaluate and action plan in order to make improvements. We should also consider how well we have navigated changes throughout the pandemic and whether we have provided families with adequate support. Take time to evaluate what you are doing and consider where improvements could be made.
AND, our NEW Service Evaluation Resources will help you evaluate ALL aspects of your childcare service under the relevant framework.
Our Self-Reflection Pack is also a handy tool to assist in evaluating all aspects of your childcare service.