Moving Forward After Covid-19

At Pennies we recognise how difficult the past 18 months have been and the sacrifices our families and staff members have had to make. This has been an enormously challenging time for everyone. We would like to thank all our families and staff members for being so supportive and understanding during this time.

But now we want to move on.  At Pennies we recognize that we have to learn to live with Covid 19, however, we no longer want to be a prominent part of nursery life.  We are looking forward to welcoming our families back into our nurseries. Hosting open days, parent’s evenings and stay and plays.

As always, our priority we will be keeping our children, families and staff safe.  We will still be adhering to the guidelines set out by the government for Early years settings.

One of the key changes introduced from 19 July in education and childcare setting, is that we will no longer be asked to conduct routine contact tracing.  As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with either the positive case – or in the case of children – the parents, carers or guardian of the positive case to identify close contacts.

NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society, including children who have recorded a positive PCR test and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts.

Self-isolating and taking a test 

  1. If your child has symptoms, they and other members of their household should self-isolate and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a PCR test for them. If the PCR result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the PCR result is positive, they, other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
  2. If your child has a positive result from a lateral flow device (LFD) test, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a confirmatory PCR test. If the confirmatory test is taken within two days and the result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the confirmatory PCR test is positive (or is taken more than two days after the LFD), other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the LFD test.
  3. PCR tests can be booked online through the NHS Test & Trace website or by calling 119.
  4. PCR test results will be recorded with NHS Test and Trace automatically, but you should also communicate the result to the education or childcare setting during term time or summer provision.

Contact tracing 

  1. If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when ordering the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact.
  2. You will be asked to provide the contact details, if you know them, of any of the individuals – or their parents or guardians – who have been identified as close contacts. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch with these close contacts and provide appropriate instructions or advice (see below).

Self-isolation and/or testing of close contacts 

  1. At present, anyone identified as a close contact is legally required to self-isolate and must not attend their education or childcare setting (the only exception is if they are participating in a daily contact testing trial). Anyone identified as a non-household close contact by NHS Track and Trace must self isolate until 10 days after the date of their most recent contact with that person. If they live in the same household, they must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of that person developing symptoms (see point 1 above) or, if that person was asymptomatic, the date of their test (see point 2 above). NHS Test and Trace will notify you of the day on which the self-isolation period ends.
  2. Close contacts are also advised to take a PCR test. If the test result is negative, they must still complete the full self-isolation period, as the test will not detect all positive cases. If the result is positive, they will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days – and NHS Test and Trace will contact them to identify any close contacts.
  3. From 16 August, if the close contact is under 18, they will not have to self-isolate (in line with the policy for fully vaccinated adults) but will be asked to take an PCR test immediately, other than for very young children identified as non-household contacts, and they will not need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If the PCR test is positive, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch to identify close contacts (see points 5 and 6 above).

Within the nurseries we will continue with the following.

  • The staff and children will continue to wash their hands on arrival, departure and throughout the day.
  • Staff will wear face coverings when handing over to parents.
  • Staff will be asked to carry out 2 lateral flow tests a week.
  • Sanitizing of all equipment throughout the day.
  • PPE will be worn where needed.
  • All cutlery, plates and cups will continued to be washed in our commercial dishwashers.
  • Even though social distance is no longer a requirement. We will be asking all our staff and parents to respect one another’s personal space.
  • Parents and visitors will be asked to wear a face covering and sanitize their hands on arrival and when exiting the building.
  • Our commercial cleaning company will continue to follow their covid cleaning schedule.
  • Children will continue to spend the majority of their day outside. We will also continue to adopt the “bubble” approach, keeping the rooms separate.

We are all in this together and the following information may be subject to change but we will keep you as informed as we possibly can, via our parents App. Government guidance is issued sporadically and it is up to each setting to implement what will practically work best to protect everyone (children staff and parents).

If you have any questions please speak with your Nursery Manager, they will happily share their updated Covid risk assessments with you.

Kind regards

Michaela Stone – Head of Operations