Wild Wood Kids Preschool Sessions COVID 19 POLICY
The following may be subject to change if the official advice on the novel coronavirus changes, so please continue to check and revisit this page before your child is due to attend any session with us.
I am planning to re-start preschool groups asap. The government guidelines now allow educational and childcare settings to open. I also plan to start regular school holiday woodland days during August. I have worked hard to ensure that I am complying with government guidelines and NHS advice.
The last three months have been challenging and stressful for everyone including our children. I hope your children will be able to join me for some sunshine and fresh air in the woods, far away from any COVID-related stress and worry.
I am fortunate that our working environment outdoors is intrinsically safer than any other social setting, but I have developed a number of additional procedures to help keep you, your children and my staff safe. These procedures are informed by the current understanding of COVID-19 and government guidelines for educational settings.
I will be working on the government's recommended Primary schools and other educational and childcare recommendations, subject to government-specified infection controls. The government recommended class size is half a class (or roughly 15 children). The infection control procedures required by government guidelines are:
minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend childcare settings, schools or colleges
cleaning hands more often than usual – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered
ensuring good respiratory hygiene – promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
minimising contact and mixing by encouraging small groups within the larger group.
The following procedures have been designed to follow government guidelines insofar as they are applicable in an outdoor environment, so as to keep everyone as safe as possible while still running an enjoyable day outdoors. The procedures cannot cover every eventuality, but we will use our judgement to apply the government’s 5 principles above, which will help to keep you and your children safe.
By booking with me you explicitly agree to the following terms, conditions and procedures, together with our general terms and conditions, and we will expect you to abide strictly by them, so please take a moment to read and understand them.
The following may be subject to change if the official advice on the novel coronavirus changes, so it is worth revisiting this page just before your child is due to attend.
Attendance on the day is subject to your child being virus-free, as far as it is practicable to be sure.
To this end you must NOT bring your child if they:
show any symptoms of COVID-19 on the day
show any symptoms within 7 days prior to attending
are living with an individual who has shown symptoms within 14 days before the date of their attendance (they and you should be self-isolating as per government guidelines)
Children who turn up with a cough – or who are accompanied by an adult or sibling with a cough – or are otherwise obviously unwell will not be accepted by the registering leader. The leader’s decision on this matter is final. You will not be eligible for a credit note or a refund under these circumstances.
Please be responsible when making a decision about bringing your child – bringing a child who is mildly ill, even if you are sure they are well enough to attend, could threaten the health of other children, and of our staff. My staff are required to self-isolate at the first sign of any symptoms, so if you send a poorly child – even if you are convinced that they do not have COVID-19 – you risk us having to cancel all future sessions for this season because our staff will be unable to work.
Kit on the day
Food and Drink:
Children must bring their own drink; I will provide a snack as per usual but I will use vinyl gloves for serving
We will have a hand washing station but no shared hand sanitiser. If you would like your child to use hand sanitiser children can bring their own but cannot share this with other children (unless siblings) or adults.
We do not provide hand sanitiser for children, as some children are allergic to certain brands, and the passing of a bottle from hand to hand is in itself a potential transmission risk.
We recommend that children bring their own tissues as part of their kit in case they need to use them.
The UK government guidance on masks says: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended…. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.” Please do not send your child in a mask, or ask us to make sure they wear one:
If your child arrives wearing a mask, or if you insist that your child wears a mask during the session, we will assume that they are infectious and refuse to accept their attendance. You will not get a refund or a credit note under these circumstances.
On the day:
If you must use public transport, follow the government guidelines on safe travelling.
Shielded and clinically vulnerable children and adults. Children and adults in these categories should not attend sessions, and we make it clear in our communications with parents that if their children or any member of their household is shielding or clinically vulnerable, then they should not attend.
The UK government’s recommendation for primary schools is that they accept a half class at a time, with a suggested upper limit of 15 children. Working outdoors, with no cramped corridors or ventilation issues we will be able to accept 15 children per group - this includes parents. Parents please keep to the 2m social distancing guidance where possible.
Please ensure all consent forms are completed and brought along on the day. If this is not possible please bring your own pen to complete the form.
It is clearly impossible to maintain a 2m distance in woods and rough terrain with primary age children. We cannot guarantee that children will not be within touching distance of each other at brief times during the day in the woods with us. Please do not send your children if you expect them to strictly maintain a 2m distance from everyone at every moment during the day. However, any games or activities that involve touching or holding hands will be adapted to avoid physical contact, and children will be spaced out while engaged in social actions (such as eating or crafting) to maximise the distance between them.
The morning circle greeting time will be expanded so that there is adequate space between each child and between children and adults. I will try to avoid sharing equipment. Kit and objects which are shared (primarily tools) will be disinfected, using recommended sanitisation products, before being passed onto another child. The toilet surfaces which are likely to be touched will be disinfected at regular intervals during the day.
The current science on the transmission on the novel coronavirus indicates that:
transmission is greatly reduced outside
children are at less risk than adults of transmitting the disease and of developing serious symptoms
we will be moving to a tippy tap and soap system for hand washing after toileting and before lunch. The tippy tap system allows us to use running water.
After the day
It is a good idea to launder clothes after a day in which you have been in contact with anyone who is not from your immediate household, as there is some evidence the virus can linger on fabrics.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these unprecedented times, in which we all need to adapt and respect the guidelines. I look forward to welcoming your children back into the woods, to reconnect with nature and each other, under the safe guidelines and procedures laid out in this document.
Laura Wild Wood Kids