This document has been put together by the two directors of Gosforth Park Out of School Club (GPOSC) in consultation with the staff. It is written in response to the announcement by the government on 23 June, that providers who run holiday clubs can open over the summer holidays, with safety measures in place and recognising the important role that holiday clubs play in providing enriching activities, giving children the opportunity to socialise and promoting their wellbeing, in addition to the importance of childcare that enables parents and carers to return to work. It has been compiled on the basis of government guidance in conjunction with information and advice from the local authority and public health guidance.
The scientific evidence suggests that there is a moderate to high degree of confidence that the susceptibility to clinical disease of younger children (up to age 11 to 13) is lower than for adults.
Spread of virus via staff and children mixing with other children and adults.
The decisions we have made on numbers of children and groups sizes are based on the current government guidance that social distancing is 2m or 1m with risk mitigations where 2m is not possible, that younger children are not as able to maintain social distancing and the size and layout of the area available to us. Children attending will range in age from 4 to 13. We have a large hall plus dining hall along with an extensive outdoor area comprising a large playground and playing field.
The government’s advice is that “providers should seek to maintain small, consistent groups of no more than 15 children and at least one staff member and that as far as it is possible, groups should not be mixing within the setting.”
Challenges to achieving consistent groups for GPOSC are:
- children attending based on varying booking patterns
- the ongoing receipt of additional bookings throughout the summer period due to work and shift patterns
They could also include:
- the emergence of safeguarding or welfare concerns
To overcome such challenges, the government advice states that “providers must use their best judgement in creating and frequently reviewing groups in order to minimise the amount of ‘mixing’ (for example, the number of different people each child comes into contact with); and should also ensure they are keeping up-to-date records of the children attending their settings, including the specific groups and members of staff they have been assigned to.”
At GPOSC we will be offering full day sessions only to reduce the mixing through the course of the day. We will be operating three separate groups (Green, Yellow, Blue) per day, of up to 12 children, with a maximum attendance of 30. This means that the groups will usually be no larger than 10 children per group but on occasions, to keep children in consistent groups a group may need to be up to 12 in size, in which case the other groups will be correspondingly smaller.
Children will be assigned to a group on the first day that they attend and as far as possible they will remain in that group throughout the seven weeks holidays. It is possible that occasionally a child may need to change to a different group for adult:child ratio reasons or for welfare reasons, but we expect this to happen very infrequently, if at all. If we do have to do this we will aim to only do it after a weekend, not midway through a week. Siblings will be kept in the same group. Where possible, and when requested, we have kept friendship groups together but we cannot guarantee to do this. This means that each child will be in a group with up to 9, on infrequent occasions up to 11, other children on any one day. Throughout the course of the holidays we expect there to be in the region of 30 to 40 children in each group.
GPOSC is open for 50 hours per week and is therefore staffed by a rota of part time staff. These rotas will be kept as consistent as possible on a week to week basis and each individual member of staff will work in the same group each session as far as possible. There will be no crossover of staff between groups during the day except in exceptional circumstances, eg for safeguarding or welfare reasons.
All sessions will be run outside as much as possible. Children will be kept in the three separate groups outside – no mixing eg for games of football. When the hall is used then each group will be kept in a separate area of the school hall/dining hall using benches and chairs as physical barriers to keep them separate and to demarcate a walkway from the main door to the separate groups.
Yellow group will be in the dining hall end and will use the glass doors at that of the hall to move between inside and outside. Green and Blue groups will be separated in the larger hall and will use the main front door and ramp but will not use this door at the same time. This will ensure there is no cross over between groups however it is noted that brief transitory contact between groups, such as passing in the corridor or moving outside is low risk.
Each group will have its own toilet cubicles to use and we will aim for children to use the toilets only at certain times throughout the session in groups supervised by a member of staff rather than a constant flow back and forth. No child will however be prevented from using the toilet if they are desperate.
Breakfast and tea will be served separately to each group in their own area so there will be no sharing of space. Cereal and milk will be served as always in the mornings with bread rather than toast to minimise mess in the different areas.
All activities will be run separately in the three groups.
All staff will keep at least two metres away from each other. All staff meetings and training will be carried out virtually. When deciding which staff to bring off furlough for the summer holidays the directors will take into account risk factors associated with each staff member and any clinically extremely vulnerable people they live with.
There will be four different providers of workshops over the course of the seven weeks. These workshops will only be held outside and will be cancelled if the weather is too bad, in which case parents will be offered a £3 refund per child. These workshop providers will act as demonstrators only and will be at a distance of considerably greater than 2m from all children and staff at all times. The club staff will work with and supervise their group for these workshops. Workshop providers will bring enough equipment for one per child and if there needs to be any sharing eg spinning plates for circus skills, these will be cleaned between each child using them.
Risk of virus spread via parents congregating at drop off and pick up times.
On the first occasion that any child attends, and on subsequent days until the child is happily settled, one parent or carer may accompany the child to the front door of Gosforth Park First School. Parents are not allowed to enter the building. A staff member will answer the door and the child will be handed over at the door.
For children who have previously attended and all new children once they are settled, parents are asked to accompany their children to the bottom of the ramp to the front door only, then to stand back and wait until their children have been let in by a member of staff. Only one family group must be on the ramp at any one time. Parents are asked to use the rainbow markers on the ground to queue up to the ramp.
If children arrive after the groups have gone out to play parents will be asked to follow the same routine but at the gates to the school playground rather than the ramp.
Parents will be asked to text the club from the car park when they arrive (07941413728). They will then come up to the ramp and ring the doorbell then go back down the ramp to wait for the staff to come to the door with the children. Only one family on the ramp at any one time and only one parent/carer per family should collect.
If the children are playing outside, parents are asked to come to the gates to the playground and wait outside them, again using the rainbow markers to queue. Staff will send the children down the walkway to the gates, using walkie talkies to communicate between each other so a member of staff is always able to see that a child has reached their parents.
If the activities are being run outside then from 3pm onwards staff will ensure that children have taken all of their belongings outside with them to reduce the need to re-enter the hall to collect them while parents are waiting. If parents are going to arrive before 3pm they will be asked to give the staff at least half an hours’ notice to ensure that the children have their belongings with them. It would be preferable if parents could let staff know this in the morning.
Staff will mark the register with arrival and collection times and who collected the child. Necessary conversations between staff and parents can be carried out at a distance of more than 2m at the gates to the playground or from the top of the ramp. Alternatively these conversations can be had by text or mobile phone call.
The only people to enter the premises are staff involved in direct childcare and children.
Food is delivered on a Monday by Asda who leave the delivery outside the door for staff to bring in. All other supplies are delivered directly to the club at the school address with contactless delivery. No school staff, including cleaners and caretaker will walk through the areas that the groups are occupying. Club staff will not enter the rest of Gosforth Park First School except to escort children to the toilet and to use the staff room to collect water.
Points of crowding – collecting coats and/or belongings to go outside to play, fire alarms and fire drills.
Organise the children to go one at a time to pick up or drop off their belongings from the coat racks (or in sibling groups). See above for ways different groups access the outside areas
Fire alarms and drills – the three separate groups will leave the building by the entrances they entered if possible. If an entrance is blocked the group will leave by the next nearest exit. There will be three separate assembly areas:
GREEN group on the playground outside the nursery entrance, BLUE group on the playground next to the staff car park, YELLOW group on the Broadway East playground. Each group will have a separate register to be able to check children.
Passing on of virus by contact with contaminated surfaces and via air.
All staff and children to wash hands, using sanitiser as soon as they arrive, before food preparation and eating, after eating, every hour throughout the session, when coming in from outside and when leaving the club.
Separate hand sanitisers will be available to each group and hand washing using sanitiser will be closely supervised by staff to ensure that it is done thoroughly.
All dining and food preparation tables to be cleaned down thoroughly with antibacterial cleaning product before and after use. The usual method of a dry wipe first to clear debris followed by a spray wipe with antibacterial product will be used. Disposable cloths/kitchen roll will be used, which will then be disposed of in tied bags in the bins which are emptied at the end of each day.
Frequently touched surfaces to be cleaned down with antibacterial cleaning product every 60 mins – door handles, light switches, door bell, toys, toilets. All staff to always have a pack of antibacterial wipes on them to do this.
Coat racks and equipment to be wiped down using antibacterial cleaning product before each session.
No soft furnishings to be used – eg rug, blankets, cushions.
No toys that are difficult to clean, eg with intricate parts
The Wii will not be used this holiday.
The pool table and football table will be rotated between the groups and will be cleaned down between each group.
Children will not be able to bring items or toys from home.
We will keep as many windows open as possible.
We will keep doors down to toilets propped open but hall door and main door closed for security.
All outdoor equipment will be cleaned between sessions and no sharing, unless cleaned in between each child.
Children will be allowed on fixed outdoor play equipment but must use hand sanitiser before and after use. One group at a time to have access to this fixed equipment and the staff will allow only a certain number of children on each piece of equipment to ensure 2m distances are kept. Parts of the equipment that are held on to by hand – eg the hand rails on trim trail, the climbing wall, the pirate ship wheel and rails will be cleaned by staff before the children use them. The picnic tables and benches may be used by children spaced at 2m apart. These also will be cleaned before use.
“Catch it, bin it, kill it” technique will continue to be used throughout the setting. When children and staff cough or sneeze they must use tissues, double bagged in two tied nappy sacks, then placed in the bin. These bins will be emptied at the end of every before and after school session.
Tea towels are used for washing dishes after snack time and are taken home by staff to be laundered. They will be laundered in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The warmest water setting will be used and items dried completely. Tea towels can be washed together with other items. Dirty tea towels will not be shaken out. Tea towels will be transported between the club and the staff member’s home in sealed bin bags or plastic bags which will be thrown away when used.
Public health and government guidance states there is no need for PPE, however if a child becomes ill with a persistent cough or high temperature or loss of sense of smell they will need to be isolated from the rest of the group with one member of staff. The staff member looking after them until parents arrive will wear mask, gloves, apron and safety goggles or glasses if there is a risk of exposure to eyes via coughing or spitting.
We will discourage children from touching each other and avoid activities that would bring children into close proximity for extended periods (eg playing inside dens, working together on the same Lego model, reading a book together, etc). However as a play setting it would be unrealistic to insist that children maintain a rigid 2m distance apart at all times
Parents/carers will be asked to put sun cream on children as necessary before they attend. If it needs topping up through the day the staff will supervise children in doing this but will not be able to actually apply it.
Adults to keep more than 2m apart and avoid face to face interactions with children for any length of time (over 15 minutes) and with adults all together. Side to side interactions are safer.
Any staff member or child who is displaying symptoms or has displayed symptoms (cough, fever, loss of smell/taste), in the previous 7 days or lives with someone who has displayed symptoms in the last 14 days, should not attend the club unless they have tested negative for coronavirus.
IF A CHILD OR STAFF MEMBER DEVELOPS SYMPTOMS
If a staff member develops symptoms they will be sent home immediately and will remain at home for 7 days, or until their symptoms pass, whichever is longer. They will be asked to get a covid test and if this is negative they will be able to return to work straight away assuming they are well enough.
If a child develops symptoms they will be separated from everyone else and isolated with one member of staff wearing PPE (see above). Parents will be asked to collect the child straight away.
Once the child or member of staff has left the setting we will ensure all areas they have been in are disinfected and any PPE and other waste is safely disposed of. This will be done according to the government guidelines for decontamination in a non health care setting, see Appendix A.
The child or staff member will be encouraged to get a test. Where the child or staff member tests negative they can return to the setting and fellow household members can end their isolation. the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their immediate group within their setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of those advised to self-isolate do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with subsequently develops symptoms. If a member of staff needs to be off for this or any other reason we will bring another member of staff off furlough to replace them. We have 8 out of 14 staff who have an up to date Paediatric First Aid qualification so we will always be able to ensure that one of them is present at any session. One of the senior managers is our safeguarding lead, if she has to be off work then one of our directors, who does not work as a child carer is the other safeguarding lead and can be contacted by all members of staff for any safeguarding issues.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise us on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger group may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.
COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF
All staff will be sent this document and offered a phone call or video call with the senior managers and/or directors to discuss this further before they return to work.
The guide to donning and doffing standard PHE equipment will be sent to all staff. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877658/Quick_guide_to_donning_doffing_standard_PPE_health_and_social_care_poster__.pdf
COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS
All parents of children attending the club in the holidays will be sent a letter (Appendix B) and a copy of this document. The coronavirus outbreak may have caused significant mental health or wellbeing difficulties for some children. They may have had to deal with bereavement and we will need to consider the mental health, pastoral and wider health and well being support children may need. They may also be anxious about attending a setting with new children after having spent 4 months at home with just their families. Parents will be asked to let us know of any concerns in this area they may have before the children return.
All parents of children will be asked to update their emergency contact details, replacing any current emergency contacts who may be in a vulnerable group.
ONGOING RISK ASSESSMENT MONITORING
Staff will, as always, place close attention to any new risks that become apparent and find ways to mitigate these as soon as possible. Weekly virtual meetings will continue to be held with the directors, senior managers and any staff who are available and have been working to look at the ongoing running of the club and new risks that have been noted.
Government guidelines for decontamination in a non health care setting
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.
All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
- objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
- all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells
Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:
- use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine
- a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
- if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses
Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.
Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.
When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.
Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.
Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):
- Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
- The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
- It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.
Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
- if the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste
- if the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste
If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.