8th July 2020

Hi everyone,

We hope this letter finds you well and coping OK. We have loved seeing how fantastically you have been getting on at home on the pre-school facebook page, well done to you parents for doing a brilliant job. Please read this letter in full and right to the end as we may need you to reply with information and store this letter somewhere safe as you may want to remind yourself of the contents at a later date. We are trying our very best to ensure that what we do is safe, fair and the best interest for everyone, not just one or two so be respectful of the tough decisions we may have to take.

We understand how worried and concerned you may be feeling in light of the Governments decision that all children in Early Years Settings should return to Preschool in September 2020. We have looked through the Government’s advice for our sector and have come up with some ways in which we can best put this into practice. We have included the links to the documents we have to follow at the bottom of this email.

You must understand that with the best will in the world and whatever methods and practices we put in place it is impossible for children to socially distance from each other or the staff, we cannot and will not stay 1plus meters apart. If your child needs a hug they will receive one but we will use our common sense. The staff have been advised not to wear facemasks while working but we will wear one and other PPE if your child begins to show any symptoms. We can’t do our job from a distance. The staff will exercise judgement for the highest standard of safety and cleanliness at all times

We will be expecting all children to return to pre-school in September, the term begins on Thursday 3rd September. We will be doing our best to keep the session groups to 16 or below for the first term in order to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can. This will enable us to work with the guidance given to maintain smaller groups of children.

Here is a round up of some of the measures we have put in place to make sure our preschool is as safe as possible for everyone:

  • We have to introduce a temporary cap on the amount of children who are to return to pre-school. Some children may be given priority over others in ways such as (but not limited to), those who are children of critical workers or vulnerable groups.
  • If your child attends more than one preschool, nursery or childminder you will be asked to choose only one setting to enable their bubble to be kept as small as possible to prevent the spread of the virus between settings.
  • Drop off and collection will be different to usual. Only one parent who is symptom free will be allowed onto the pre-school grounds but will not be allowed into the pre-school building. Please respect staff and distance yourself, 1plus meters away from them at all times. Please wait outside until you are called up to the gate, all items will then need to be placed on the rack provided.
  • At pick up time, again wait outside being aware of social distancing and wait to be called to the gate/door. We are encouraging a quick drop off and pick up, If you have any questions for staff could you please phone us on 01367 242801 or email on faringdonpreschool2014@gmail.com
  • We may group children and are staggering the drop off and pick up times to between 9.00 – 9.30 and pick up between 2.30 – 3.00. No buggies, scooters or bikes etc. will be allowed on the route into pre-school as they create blocks and hazards. We are advised to encourage parents to walk to pre-school and not use public transport.  Arrive at preschool between 9.00 – 9.30 and be very aware of social distancing, this might mean walking round the block. Social distancing signage is provided.
  • Adults must stay 1plus meters away from other adults and keep their child with them until they have been dropped off. Playing in the outside areas will not be allowed.
  • We may take temperatures of children and staff on arrival. Children should be symptom free of any illness. We may ask the children if they have had medicine in the morning when they arrive as parents have often given calpol to bring down a temperature to enable them to get to work. Please do not do this.
  • Symptoms are a high temperature of over 37.8, a new and continuous cough, a loss of taste or smell. Be aware of rashes too. If any of these symptoms are shown you will be contacted and will need to collect you child immediately. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD IN IF ANY OF THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS APPLY.
  • The initial intake for September will be limited with a maximum of 16 children per session, all staff members will be in attendance. We will be outside for the majority of the time regardless of the weather so please dress your child appropriately. If it is sunny please apply sun cream to their skin at home before you bring them in, cover their shoulders with a t-shirt and wear leggings not shorts so staff have as little time applying cream to your child should they require a top up. Please keep sun cream with your child’s name on in their bag with a complete change of clothes.
  • Please provide snack for your child in a named bag or box and supply a named drink bottle. Please provide packed lunches and we will try to seat children with social distancing in mind and as safely as possible.
  • We will reflect and revise our decisions regularly as some decisions may not work or we may come up with a better way of doing something. Although we have safely been open over the pandemic period, this situation is all new to us, some of our tried and trusted measures can’t take place any more, but we still must have strict safeguarding measures in place at all times.
  • You must ensure all of your emergency contacts are up to date and that you are able to collect your child in the event of an emergency or they become ill. You must be able to collect your child within 30 minutes of receiving a telephone call if Covid-19 is suspected.
  • Children must not bring in any comforters, soft toys, blankets, toys or anything other than their coat, spare change of clothes, sun cream and packed lunch if they need one. We are limiting how much comes into preschool. All personal items will be hung up on the rack outside on arrival and will stay there until the child leaves to go home. All Lunch boxes, drink bottles and snack pots will be cleaned with an anti-bac wipe before brought into the building.
  • All children and staff will need to remove outside shoes when entering the pre-school.
  • If your child is staying for packed lunch we ask you pack only products which can be opened easily, they struggle with some items such as frubes and little pots. Please ensure your child can be totally independent with their lunch. Remember all fruit such as grapes and blueberries and also cheese must be cut into tiny pieces to avoid choking.
  • Catch it, Kill it, Bin it, wash your hands will remain our policy – please continue this at home. Also try the coughing into your elbow.
  • We have removed a lot of resources and equipment such as blankets, soft toys, play dough, dressing up etc. and have cleaned everything in sight. We will continue to clean up during the day as usual and at the end of the day do a thorough clean.
  • The washing of children’s clothing is recommended after they have spent the day at the setting. 

 Please help us to care for your children in the safest way possible and follow the rules laid out.

Would you let us know the following information by email as soon as possible please, if we do not hear back from you, we will make assumptions from what we know previously about your family circumstances:
Any changes to emergency contacts or addresses.

Take care of yourselves, we hope we can get together soon.

Emma and the Pre-school Team

The advice we have received so far from the government can be found using this links:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures