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To ensure the safety of your child in our care and that of our staff, we have a number of measures in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19:

• A thorough and rigorous risk assessment which is regularly updated, demonstrating our focus on safety and our desire to lower the risk of transmission.

• Ensuring that children are accessing outdoor provision as much as possible, and are in well ventilated indoor spaces, creating a safe play and work environment.

Do not send your child to the YMCA if they have one of the following symptoms (up to date symptoms information):

• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

• a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

Early Years Delivery

What has changed with drop off/collection?

Children should only be dropped off/collected by those people living in the same household as the child or by adults in the childcare support bubble; or as per Government guidance on households mixing and childcare.  Only one person dropping off/collecting can enter the nursery grounds to drop off their child. Parents/carers must hand over children outside the nursery building and must wear a face covering to do so to protect the safety of children, other parents and staff.

How do you minimise transmission between childcare staff and children? We will ensure that children and staff wash their hands-on arrival at the nursery, prior to and after eating, after toileting, when returning into the nursery from outdoors, after coughing and sneezing and prior to leaving for home. We will minimise mixing of staff and children between rooms/areas or age groups where possible and avoid utilising staff across multiple rooms where possible depending on the size of the setting.  Face coverings must be worn by staff when transitioning between spaces, or through corridors where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings are not required when sitting at a desk suitably spaced apart, or while working directly with children in the early years.  We have determined that social distancing is not possible within our childcare settings.

What happens with show arounds? Show arounds, wherever possible, will take place outside normal nursery hours with social distancing maintained. Where out of hours visits are not possible, virtual tours can be considered and in-hours visits are limited to garden areas, with systems of control maintained (social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing).   Any in-person visits are restricted to one family per setting.

What happens with settling in visits? Settling in visits are restricted to one at any given time per room. Face coverings must be worn by adults, time will be limited and contact with other children should be avoided.

What items can my child or our family bring to nursery? Bringing additional items in to the setting is limited (including car seats and pushchairs),with the exception of comfort toys.

Do we clean toys? All toys, play equipment and frequently touched surfaces are sanitised regularly. Quantities of toys and play equipment is kept to a minimum of easily cleanable items. The use of outdoor play equipment should is carried out in accordance with government guidance.

My child has a high temperature, what do I do? Children may have raised temperatures for a number of reasons and is normally the body’s natural response to fighting infections like coughs, colds, recent vaccines and more. At the moment it can be hard to know what to do if your child is unwell and a high temperature can lead to a child being very unwell quickly, so it is important to get medical help and advice if you need it.  We will always make decisions that we feel are in the best interests of your child.  You may find this NHS web page useful.

What happens if my child develops symptoms at a YMCA childcare setting? We will contact you and ask you to collect your child, who will be isolated in a separate room with a staff member. Once you have collected your child, call 111 to book a PCR test and for further advice (a service is available to under 5’s only). You will initially be asked to self-isolate your child in line with government guidance and to get your child tested.  See our risk assessment link above for more details regarding Track and Trace.

What happens if my child develops symptoms at home? Do not send your child to the setting and follow the procedure outlined above.

What if someone in our household has COVID-19 symptoms? Do not send your child to the setting and arrange a test for the person with symptoms. Your household must self-isolate for the relevant period unless the test for the symptomatic person is negative and they have not been told to self-isolate.

What if my child tests positive for COVID-19? Do not send your child to the setting but inform us immediately about the result. You must then follow the latest Government/Public Health advice on the self-isolation period and testing.

What if somebody in our household tests positive? Do not send your child to the setting but inform us of the positive case. Your child can return to nursery when they have completed 10 days of self-isolation without any symptoms.

What if my child has been in contact with someone who has been identified as a close contact? Your child can attend the YMCA as normal unless they are displaying symptoms.

What happens if a staff member develops symptoms?  Staff are sent home, will self isolate in line with Government guidance and arrange for a test.

What will the YMCA do if a child or staff member tests positive in a setting? Staff and children who have had direct contact with the child or staff member will be sent home in line with government guidance. Siblings of children within the affected group, who may be in another group, will also be sent home. You must then seek Public Health advice on what to do next, which may include a period of isolation and arranging a test. All rooms occupied by the affected staff member or child will undergo a deep clean. A positive result means that the person tested had coronavirus when the test was done, and they must self-isolate immediately. If the test was carried out because they had symptoms, they must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when the symptoms started. If they test positive but have not had symptoms, they must self-isolate for 10 days from when they had the test. Anyone they live with, or anyone in their support bubble, must self-isolate for 10 days from the person testing positive starts self-isolating. The YMCA must be informed of all positive cases. See our risk assessment link above for more details regarding Track and Trace.

What if a staff member or child has a test and it is negative, can they return to nursery straight away? If the result is negative, the staff member or child can return to the setting as long as everyone they live with or in their support bubble who has symptoms tests negative, and were not told to self-isolate for 10 days by NHS Test and Trace. If they are feeling unwell, they must stay at home until they are feeling better.

Booking and Finance

Can my child attend more than one setting? Children are able to attend more than one early years settings.  Children are able to attend two settings. Staff may make a local decision with their director as to whether denying children the ability to attend two settings would cause the potential for harm. Where possible, YMCA staff will work with other settings to share best practice and ensure system of controls are followed.

Will you charge fees if I don’t send my child as I am concerned about the spread of COVID? Yes, we will continue to charge fees.

After the January 2021 new lockdown announcement, I want to adjust my child’s attendance pattern, is there a charge? Our standard conditions apply for any amendments to your child’s attendance pattern.

Will you still charge fees if you must shut the nursery because there is a COVID case? In the event of a positive case of COVID within the setting, we will only close all or part of the setting if instructed to do so by Public Health or other health regulatory body.  In the event of a closure in these circumstances, it is not our intention to charge fees whilst we are able to access support from the furlough scheme, but we reserve the right to review this if other circumstances change.  If we do review this or if the setting is closed after furlough finishes, we will only charge 50% of our normal fees (this applies to all charges including lunches and consumable fees). We appreciate that these are difficult times, but once furlough is no longer in place we will no longer have support for staff salaries or other costs and we must ensure that our settings remain financially viable.

If there is a confirmed case in my child’s setting, the setting is not closed and I choose not to send my child, will I still be charged? Yes, we will continue to charge full fees unless the setting is closed by the health authorities (see above).

Will you still charge fees if you must shut the setting due to staff shortages? In the unlikely event that we have to close the nursery due to an inability to maintain suitable staff ratios caused by COVID and are unable to use our bank staff or from our other settings, we will not charge you for the sessions missed. If we do need to close your setting, we will contact you as soon as reasonably possible.

Will you still charge fees if we have to self-isolate because our child or a member of our household has symptoms? Yes, we will continue to charge all fees (including meals and consumables) as we would have arranged staffing around your child’s attendance. This is in line with our standard conditions regarding sickness.

What if I do not want my child to return, how much notice do I have to give? The the standard notice period of one months’ written notice or one month’s fees paid in lieu of notice will apply.

My family circumstances have changed, and I no longer qualify for 30 hours funding, what happens? Please see the latest Government guidance about 30 hour funding on this link