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Protocol for Staff

v1 updated 26.05.20

This protocol outlines what we ask of staff during the phased re-opening of Playgroup from 01.06.20. It is based on Government guidance and our detailed risk assessment, which is available to view on our website under the blog section. Please do your very best to follow it so we can ensure our staff, children and families are kept as safe as possible during this unprecedented time. Thank you for your continued support.


1. All children and staff coming to Playgroup should avoid all non-essential public transport travel, and outside of Playgroup hours, follow national guidelines for social interaction. If public transport is necessary, staff are asked to follow current guidance on the use of public transport.

2. Any child or staff who have been told to shield or who is extremely clinically vulnerable or who lives in a household with someone who has been advised to shield or is extremely clinically vulnerable cannot attend Playgroup.

3. Staff should only attend Playgroup if they are symptom free, have completed the required isolation period or achieved a negative test result.

4. Staff are reminded to avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth.

5. Government guidance does not recommend wearing a face mask in schools or other education settings so it is not necessary for you or the children to attend wearing such items. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.

6. Attendance at Playgroup will be restricted to children and staff only. The only other visitors who will be permitted are for essential maintenance. Where essential visits are required, these will be made outside of Playgroup hours or by prior consent.

7. A rigorous cleaning schedule is in place at Playgroup to minimise spread of Covid-19. Our cleaner comes in daily after the building has closed for the day. A deep clean is scheduled for w/c 25th May. Staff are conducting cleaning at regular intervals during the day. Staff and children will regularly wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

8. Social distancing must be maintained during breaks following kitchen protocol.

9. Staff members should avoid physical contact with each other including handshakes, hugs etc.

10. Where possible, meetings and training sessions should be conducted through virtual conferencing/ phone/ message.

11. All staff have now undertaken additional online training during the lockdown period on Coronavirus and its impact on children. All staff have received appropriate instruction and training on infection control and the standard operation procedure and risk assessments within which they will be operate.

12. Staff will wash their clothing each day to avoid cross-contamination.

13. Consideration should be given to limiting the number of staff in the Pre-school at any one time to only those required to care for the expected occupancy levels on any given day.

14. We will be risk assessing regularly for all staff.

Drop off / collection:

1. A member of staff will be there to welcome children and take the register. The child’s bag and lunchbox must be left on the outside table. Parents / carers and their children must maintain social distancing at all times from other parents, children and staff using the markings on the ground outside playgroup, as well as signage, to help them to do this.

2. Parents / carers will be allocated staggered time slots to drop off / collect their child. This is to ensure social distancing can be adhered to.

3. Only one adult (who is symptom free) per family is permitted to drop off and collect, bringing siblings is discouraged as far as possible. No buggies or prams either thereby avoiding congestion / cross contamination.

4. Staff will then ask if any parent, child, or member of the household has any of the Covid-19 symptoms, which include a high temperature, persistent cough, loss or change to sense of smell / taste. We may, if the need arises, ask to take the child’s temperature on arrival using our digital thermometer. If the temperature is above 38 degrees, then the parent/ carer will be asked to take the child home. The child will not be able to return until they are symptom free as demonstrated by either a negative test result, or through completion of the required self-isolation period.

5. A member of staff will then take the child into Playgroup and ask them to wash their hands thoroughly on arrival.

6. If a child becomes upset at drop off, then a parent / carer will be allowed to enter Playgroup for a short period to reassure the child, providing all measures are taken to minimise contact between the parent and other children and staff members.

7. Parents / carers are then asked to leave the site promptly after drop-off or collection.

8. On collection, a member of staff will bring the child to their parent/ carer at an allocated timeslot. Parents/ carers will wait outside at 2m intervals apart, using the painted areas and other markings / signage to aid in this.

9. Children are required to have sun cream applied by a parent/ carer ready for outdoor play before drop off as staff members are not permitted to do this.

If a Child Starts Displaying Symptoms

1. If a child begins displaying a continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home to isolate per the guidelines.

2. A child awaiting collection should be moved, if possible and appropriate, to a room where they can be isolated. If it is not possible to isolate them move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. A window should be opened for ventilation.

3. If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

4. If a member of staff has helped someone who displayed symptoms they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell.

5. The area should be thoroughly cleaned, immediately if the area cannot be left unvisited, and if the area can be left unvisited then cleaned after 72 hours

6. The person responsible for cleaning the area should wear appropriate PPE (available in the emergency box).

7. In the event of a staff member developing suspected coronavirus symptoms whilst working at the preschool, they should return home immediately and isolate at home in line with the NHS guidance

8. If a child or member of staff becomes ill then they must be tested. They will only be allowed back to preschool after a negative test result (as this becomes available) or appropriate isolation has finished.

9. It is suggested that all other staff and children that have been in contact with them also get tested (as testing becomes available).

10. If there is a positive test result, all other children and adults in the bubble/Playgroup must get tested and can only return after a negative result (as testing becomes available). There is no need to test members of their household unless they have a positive result.

Changes to Playgroup routines:

1. Under normal circumstances, Playgroup is allowed a maximum of 26 children per session. This has now been reduced by half. A maximum of 13 children will be allowed at Playgroup per session.

2. See “What are Bubbles? document for more specific information.

3. During the course of each day, staff will be regularly cleaning, disinfecting and wiping down all frequently touched surfaces including toys within their ‘bubble’ and when bubbles move between zones. This includes tables, chairs, resources, equipment, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, toilets, taps, and sinks. One pair of disposable gloves will be used for cleaning and disposed of immediately after cleaning. Using a disposable cloth, hard surfaces will be cleaned first with warm soapy water, then disinfected with the cleaning products you normally use. Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning.

4. Disposable gloves and aprons, as well as additional cleaning products, have been made available for this purpose.

5. Playgroup’s resources have been minimised to those that can be cleaned effectively. For the foreseeable future, that means no dressing up, soft toys or playdough will be available for the children to play with. Messy play will be limited to each “bubble.” Scissors, pens and pencils, paint brushes and other craft items within the ‘bubble’ must be wiped down and changed between use.

6. Children and staff will be actively encouraged to wash their hands regularly throughout the day, as well as before eating, after coughing or sneezing.

7. Children will be asked to come to playgroup in appropriate clothing for the day, including outdoor clothing (sun hats, jumpers, jackets etc) as they should not be sharing communal clothing unless in an emergency.

8. The majority of staff in education settings will also not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases, and we have an emergency box of PPE available to staff if a situation arises where it is required.

This protocol is one of seven Coronavirus protocols we have put in place, based on our overall risk assessment. These are:

  1. Parent protocol

  2. Staff protocol

  3. Effective infection protection and control protocol

  4. What happens if someone is unwell protocol

  5. Confirmed case protocol

  6. Kitchen protocol

  7. Handover protocol to after school provision

All are regularly reviewed / updated by staff / parent committee in line with Government guidance. All are published on our website –

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