Since lockdown was first announced, a wide range of early years organisations have come together in an unprecedented way to support and share guidance across the sector.
Despite changing regulations and an unprecedented situation, the sector has continued to pull together to support each other in order to move the industry further towards safe growth and confidence.
The Covid-19 Response Group is made up of the main industry membership organisations, who represent several thousand members and over 70 childcare groups.
The group has now published guidance on parent settles at nursery settings.
Settling children in
Most early years providers have their own way of settling children into their setting. In pre-Covid times it was common to include ‘settles’, introductory, shorter sessions, which could include parents staying onsite and often coming into contact with other children and staff.
During Covid, there is a recommendation for providers to reduce parents’ presence onsite to minimise risks of transmission. For example, parents are advised to drop off and collect their children at the setting entrance rather than enter the building. For children who are settling in, providers needs to consider how they balance their Covid risk assessment with the developmental and emotional needs of each child.
The below document lays out some idea and considerations on how to manage settles effectively.
Considerations for Managing Settles:
- Where possible the child should settle without parent presence. Some settings have been utilising technology to offer virtual versions of home visits or settles. In the event the setting and parent deem that the parent’s presence is required, consider the following in order of most to lease desirable:
- Limiting the settle to the garden with only the key person, child and parent present;
- Limiting the settle to the garden where the key person, child and parent are socially distant from other children and staff;
- Scheduling a settle indoors where only the key person, child and parent are present. Ideally when the others are in the garden during operating hours or out of usual operating hours.
- Other factors to keep in mind during settles:
- Key person and parent should maintain social distance at all times and consider the use of PPE in line with your own risk assessment;
- Methods of reassuring yourself that neither the child or parent are exhibiting any Covid symptoms;
- Following Covid enhanced cleaning procedures after the parent has left;