NEW ENGLAND PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL
81 New England Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3201
COVID-19 Prevention and Control Policy – 2020
Date Policy Written: May 2020
Date of current revision: Daily/weekly/ monthly until we are happy
Date of next revision: May 2021
Person responsible: Toni Puttick
DoH = Department of Health
DSD = Department of Social Development
ECD = Early Childhood Development
EHP = Environmental Health Practitioner
NICD = National Institute of Communicable Diseases
NMC = Notifiable Medical Condition
PPE = Personal Protective Equipment
Aims and Intent
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The aim of this policy is to reduce the spread of the virus.
The intention is to minimize the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on the children enrolled at New England Pre-Primary School, the staff, the parents and the business. trained for jobs they may have to perform under pandemic conditions.
- Outline our preventative measures.
- Document our preparations and response in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease.
- Give detail on the procedures in the event of an outbreak.
It is the intention of New England Pre-Primary School to plan for continued access to quality early learning in the event of absenteeism/sick leave or temporary closures.
Working together with parents and Government Departments, schools and ECD centres can play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. New England Pre-Primary School undertakes to be as helpful and cooperative as possible in these circumstances, within the boundaries of any regulations and constraints imposed by Government.
This policy is closely aligned with our Health and Safety and Infection Control and Prevention policies.
- What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.
- How does COVID-19 spread? The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing). Individuals can also be infected from and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth). The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.
- What is the treatment for COVID-19? There is no currently available vaccine for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and getting early care can make the disease less dangerous. There are several clinical trials that are being conducted to evaluate potential therapeutics for COVID-19.
COVID-19 Basic Principles
At New England Pre-Primary School, we follow these basic principles to keep the children, staff and parents safe and help stop the spread of this disease:
- Sick children, staff and parents should not come to the centre.
- Washing hands often with soap and water and using the correct procedure and use of hand sanitisers.
- Continuous disinfection and cleaning of regularly touched surfaces, toys and other resources.
- Covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Dispose of used tissue immediately.
- Provision of water, sanitation and waste management facilities in accordance with environmental cleaning and decontamination procedures.
- Promote social (or physical) distancing.
Symptoms of COVID-19
In most instances, the most obvious signs of infection are mild respiratory symptoms and fever.
|Common Symptoms||Less Common Symptoms|
• Dry cough
• Coughing up slime (producing sputum in the
• Shortness of breath
• Sore throat
• Muscle or joint ache or pain
• Body chills
|* Nausea or vomiting
• Nasal congestion
• Coughing up of blood or blood-stained mucus
• Intensely red eyes, watery discharge from the eyes, swollen eyelids and light sensitivity
World Health Organization
Risk of Infection
- If children and staff are healthy they are not at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Depending on age and circumstances there may be a risk for example:
- Under five.
- If they have suppressed immunity.
iii. If they are vulnerable through their living conditions.
- Certain medical conditions make some children vulnerable to infection that would rarely be serious in healthy children, for example, leukaemia or other cancers, high doses of steroid treatments. If these children are exposed to chicken pox, measles, influenza they may become very ill. If exposure occurs the parent / guardian will be informed immediately and medical attention sought.
- Staff and parents:
- Pregnancy, especially:
- Chicken pox and/or shingles.
- German Measles (Rubella).
- Hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis B.
- Tuberculosis (TB).
- Slapped Cheek Disease.
- Over the age of 65.
- Children with suppressed immunity.
- Vulnerable children.
- The Department of Labour’s COVID-19 Guidelines place “school’s” in the medium-risk category. Even so, New England Pre-Primary School’s COVID-19 prevention and control procedures are for medium- to high-risk environments.
- It is not the duty of New England Pre-Primary School to diagnose cases of infectious diseases. Many of the symptoms are similar and misdiagnosis will be dangerous. However, if there is evidence of an infection we will immediately react in the manner described in this policy and as prescribed by the Department of Health and Environmental Health.
Life Span of Coronavirus/COVID-19 on Various Surfaces
|Paper, tissue paper, etc||3 hours|
|Polypropylene Plastic||3 days|
|Stainless steel||2 to 3 days|
|Surgical mask (on the outside)||7 days|
- Official reports indicate that signs and symptoms typically develop five to six days after being exposed to the COVID-19 virus (mean incubation period).
- The full incubation period ranges between 1 and 14 days.
A Child’s Rights to Privacy and Protection
Should a child enrolled at New England Pre-Primary School be diagnosed with COVID-19, that child’s name and identity shall always remain strictly private. Only the following people will be informed:
- The child’s parents/guardians.
- If a Notifiable Medical Condition (NMC) is diagnosed:
- We will report it as per the Department of Health’s Standard Operating Procedures: Reporting of Notifiable Medical Conditions and the child’s name will be released to the authorities.
- The collective group of parent’s will be notified as described in Notifiable Medical Conditions (below), and the child’s name will be kept strictly confidential.
- The Governing Body/Management Committee wil be informed that there has been an outbreak, but not the name of the child.
- If an unauthorised member of staff discloses the child’s name and/or medical condition, he or she will face the full extent of our disciplinary procedures.
Notifiable Medical Conditions (“NMC”): Authorities and Parents
- Notifying the Authorities:
COVID-19 is a Notifiable Medical Condition and New England Pre-Primary School will either report it electronically using the official DoH/NICD app; or will report it manually on the official form and follow the procedures in the User Guide.
- Notifying the Parents: When a COVID-19 outbreak occurs we will communicate with the parents in writing, as follows:
- The name/s of the infected child/children and/or staff member/s will remain confidential.
- The information will be fact based and will be written in such a way as to not cause alarm.
- The symptoms will be described.
- The actions we will take will be listed.
- Procedures to prevent further infection will be detailed.
- Parents will be recommended to seek medical advice regarding their child/children’s health.
Support System and Protection for The Children and Their Families
- We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
- We work closely with the parents of children who have been infected to create and maintain a positive partnership.
In order to plan this policy and decide which infection controls must be implement we used the Department of Labour and Education’s model in the Workplace Preparedness: COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-19 virus) Guidelines, 2020, using the following criteria:
- The ability to:
- Isolate the staff and children in the event of an outbreak.
- Separate each class from each other.
- Rotate playground usage.
- Rotate toilet usage.
- Facilitate a Sanitisation Station.
- Good ventilation.
- Physical barriers, e.g. face shields.
- Colour coded cleaning materials.
Administrative controls require action by the employee and employer that include changes in policies and procedure to reduce or minimize exposure to COVID-19, such as:
- Encouraging sick workers to stay home.
- Facilitate cross-training so that roles can continue despite absenteeism.
- Minimising contact at meetings by replacing face-to-face with virtual calls, e.g. Zoom, etc.
- Developing communication plans.
- Provide staff with up-to-date education and training on:
- COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviour, e.g. coughing etiquette.
- Correct care and use of PPE.
- Recognising symptoms.
- Correct sterilisation and disinfecting procedures.
- Keeping their class separate from other classes.
- Separating the children in the classroom.
- Rotate playground usage.
- Rotate toilet usage.
- Safe work practices:
- Providing resources and an environment that promotes personal hygiene, e.g.:
- Hands-free pedal bins for classrooms.
- Hand soap (hands free dispensers).
iii. Sanitisers, containing at least 70% alcohol.
- Disposable wipes and towels.
- Display relevant COVID-19 and handwashing posters.
- Providing policies and guidelines for safe practices (please see our Health and Safety and Infection Control policies).
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Please refer to the section on PPE in this policy.
- Use of PPE is based upon the hazard to the child or staff member.
- Masks and other PPE must fit the wearer properly.
- PPE must be consistently worn when required.
- PPE will be regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced as necessary.
A Safe ECD Centre
Universal Precautions for The Handling of Blood and Body Fluids
Universal Precautions have been implemented at New England Pre-Primary School to eliminate the risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens. These precautions are consistently applied and include the following:
- All blood, open wounds, sores, breaks in the skin, grazes and open skin lesions, as well as all body fluids and excretions which could be stained or contaminated with blood (for example tears, saliva, mucus, phlegm, urine, vomit, faeces and pus) are treated as potentially infectious.
- Blood, especially in large spills such as from nosebleeds, and old blood or blood stains, should be handled with extreme caution.
- Skin and hands exposed accidentally to blood is washed immediately with soap and running water.
- All bleeding wounds, sores, breaks in the skin, grazes and open skin lesions are cleaned immediately with running water and antiseptics. Then they are covered completely and securely with a non-porous or waterproof dressing or plaster so that there is no risk of exposure to blood.
- If there is a biting or scratching incident where the skin is broken, the wound is washed and cleansed under running water, dried, treated with antiseptic and covered with a waterproof dressing.
- Blood splashes to the face (mucous membranes of eyes, nose or mouth) are flushed with running water for at least three minutes.
- Disposing of blood contaminated materials:
- Hygienic and secure containers have been made available to dispose of sanitary wear.
- Hygienic and secure containers have been provided to dispose of cotton wool, gauze and other items used when cleaning/dressing wounds which are sealed in a plastic bag before being put into the container.
- Tissues and paper towels are flushed down the toilet
- The staff attending to blood spills, open wounds, sores, breaks in the skin, grazes, open skin lesions, body fluids and excretions are required wear protective latex gloves or plastic bags over their hands to eliminate the risk of HIV transmission.
- Bleeding can be managed by compression with material that will absorb the blood, e.g. a towel.
- If a surface has been contaminated with body fluids and excretions which could be stained or contaminated with blood (for instance tears, saliva, mucus, phlegm, urine, vomit, faeces and pus), that surface should be cleaned with running water and fresh, clean household bleach (1:10 solution), and paper or disposable cloths.
- The person doing the cleaning must wear full PPE..
- If instruments (for instance scissors) become contaminated with blood or other body fluids, they should be washed and placed in a strong household bleach solution for at least one hour before drying and re-using.
- Our Practitioners are trained in first aid and each classroom has a first aid kit.
- The kits contain:
- Disposable gloves
- Absorbent, waterproof plasters
- Cotton Wool
- Protective face mask that covers nose and mouth
- Disposable apron
- The contents of the first aid kits and universal precaution kits are checked once a week by the Practitioner, against a contents list.
- Expired or depleted items are replaced immediately.
- First aid and universal precautions kits are taken with on outings and excursions and are available at all school events.
- Both kits are also kept in the office.
- The children are repeatedly taught not to touch anybody else’s blood or any other body fluids whatsoever. They should rather call an adult to help.
- Every single member of staff and parent have been informed about the Universal Precautions that are adhered to New England Pre-Primary School.
- The Universal Precautions are taught to the children age appropriately.
Prevention of Transmission of COVID-19 During Play
Social or Physical Distancing
Children need hugs and comfort – many get separation anxiety when their parents leave, sometimes they get physically or emotionally hurt, and contact is necessary for brain development.
- As far as possible we will promote social or physical distancing.
- It is already the practice at New England Pre-Primary School not to over-crowd the classrooms and there is sufficient space for the children to sit or play one and a half meters apart.
- We teach and model:
- Creating space and avoiding unnecessary touching.
- Coughing and sneezing etiquette.
- When the children have to walk somewhere, to avoid crowding, we use a rope with a knots every 2 metres. Each child stands at a knot and walks in their place we encourage them to try hard not to bump into the person in front of or behind them.
The garden will be cordoned off into 5 sections with each group being assigned a different section per day. The groups will not be allowed to mix and will be monitored and encouraged to stay in their assigned play zones while maintaining the required social distancing as far as is humanly possible. Children will be sanitized before and after free play, as will all the free play equipment.
The sand in the sandpit is maintained and cleaned as per the Cleaning Procedures in this policy.
The sandpit will be cordoned off into four spaces with only one child being allowed to play in a section at a time.
- Children’s hands are correctly sanitised before and after playing with the sand.
- The toys are changed for each child
- The sand will be sanitised after each child and treated again at the end of each day.
BUT AT THIS STAGE IT WILL REMAIN CLOSED.
Each child is provided with apparatus for their own use (they may not share):
- A lump of dough (each child will have their own playdough in a Ziploc with their names on)
- Cutters, stamps, shapes and rollers. } These will immediately be placed in a bucket of
- A work board. } disinfectant once the child has finished using them
Games, Puzzles and Fine Motor Activities
- Hula-hoops may be set out at intervals and each child will sit in his/her own hoop while playing with blocks, cars, threading, peg boards, dollies and other games.
- Puzzles may done in the hoops or set out on tables where the children sit on chairs two (2) metres apart from each other and the children will not face each other at the tables / if they do they will be separated by a table shield.
Creative and Cutting Activities
- Creative and cutting activities take place at the tables.
- The children are provided with the apparatus to be used that day, e.g. paintbrush, scissors, kokis, etc. They may not share with each other and these will be put into a bucket of disinfectant as soon as the child has finished with them.
- We have Perspex table dividers and each child has their own protected work space.
We use a large amount of recycled materials in our creative and STEAM activities. It is managed as follows:
- Recycled materials are placed in the box construction cupboard in the art room.
- When this cupboard is open for the children to use, the cupboard and the materials will be taken to the yard to be sterilised before being packed away in the storeroom.
- The bin will be washed, sterilised and taken back to where it belongs.
- The staff member who sterilises the recycled materials will wear full PPE.
- We have a specific list of recycled materials that we use as shown in the table below. The table includes the sterilisation process.
|Boxes, cereal, other dry goods, cosmetics and inner tubes (NO toilet paper inners)||• Clean with a disinfectant wipe|
|Corks||• Place the corks in very hot, soapy water and let
them float there for 5 minutes.
• Clean them in the hot water with a cloth.
• Air dry them for two hours.
• Lightly spray the corks on all sides with
undiluted hydrogen peroxide.
• Allow to air dry before packing away
|Jars, glass and lids||• Wash thoroughly in hot soapy water and rinse.
• Boil the jars and lids for 10 minutes.
• Microwave wet jars for 60 seconds on high.
• Place microwaved jars on a clean cloth to air
• Air dry the lids.
|Magazines||• Place each magazine in the sun next to each
• Leave in the sun for two hours.
• Turn the magazine over and leave in the sun.
• Pack the magazines away.
|Mesh veggie bags||• Wash the bags in the washing machine using a
• Wash the bags by hand in hot soapy water.
• Hang the bags out to air dry.
|Milk carton and bottle top, 2 litre, plastic||• Rinse the inside of the bottle under running
• Fully submerge the bottle in hot, soapy water.
• Remove the label by peeling it off when it
• Soak the lids as well.
• Rinse the bottle thoroughly to remove the
• Air dry by turning it upside down on a well-
|Polystyrene egg cartons, trays||• Wash in hot soapy water
• Allow to air dry.
|Tin cans||• Wash the tins thoroughly in hot, soapy water.
• Place the washed tin cans in a pot of boiling
water and let them cook for 15 minutes.
• Place the sterilised tins on a clean cloth and
allow to air dry.
- The playground has been divided into five separate spaces.
- One class will play in a section at a time and will change sections each day.
- After each play session the metal and plastic surfaces in the playground will be disinfected.
- The staff will be strategically positioned to ensure that the children observe social distancing rules.
- While practicing throwing and kicking skills the children will stand in a circle, half-moon or square 2,5 metres apart from each other.
- The practitioners will stand in the middle of the children and throw or kick the ball to the children who will throw or kick the ball back.
- The ball will be disinfected before and after use.
- The children’s hands will be washed before and after ball play.
Prevention of Transmission of COVID-19 During Extra-Mural Activities
(only once it is permissible to conduct extra-mural activities)
- Upon arrival the service provider reports to the Sterilisation Station where they are processed as per the
instructions in this policy.
- Extra-mural providers are to provide their Covid 19 Prevention Policy before extra mural activities may begin.
- Children’s extra-mural outfits are brought to the centre in a clean plastic bag, placed in their school bag.
- Before the activity the child hands are washed/sterilised.
- The outfits are removed from the bags and sprayed with steriliser.
- During the activity all social (physical) distancing rules are observed and there is sufficient floor space for the
children stand 2,5 metres apart, including on mats.
- After the activity the used outfit is placed in the plastic bag. Spray the plastic bag and place it in the child’s bag.
- The child washes his/her hands.
- The extra-mural service provider must bring each child their own pieces of apparatus to use.
Good hand hygiene is the most effective way of preventing transmission of infection.
- Hand sanitisers are at the entrance/exit doors and the classroom doors.
- At New England Pre-Primary School we are concerned about the amount of alcohol in sanitisers and prefer not to use excessive amount of it on the children. They are, therefore, sanitised upon arrival and throughout the day their hands are washed with soap and water.
- Children and staff member’s hands are washed /sanitised:
- Several times per day during bathroom/toilet routines.
- Each time they enter and exit the classroom or garden area
- Before and after eating snacks.
- Before and after activities.
- After blowing the nose, coughing or sneezing.
- When your hands are visibly dirty/dusty.
- After doing any cleaning or laundry.
- After handling the waste/rubbish.
- When you have been in contact with blood or body fluids (faeces, vomit, spit, nappies, pads, pus and urine).
- Hand sanitisers are kept out of the reach of children at all times.
- NB! Alcohol based hand sanitisers do not kill the germs that cause diarrhoea.
Step 1: Wet hands with warm water.
Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands.
Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, around the thumb, between fingers, under nails
and the wrists – for at least 20 seconds.
Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water.
Step 5: Dry hands with a clean single-use towel.
Step 6: Dispose of the single-use towel in a pedal bin.
Hand Hygiene for Staff
- No jewellery on hands, other than a plain wedding band.
- Clear nail varnish is acceptable.
- Nails must be kept clean and short.
Responsibility of Management, Practitioners and Other Staff at New England Pre-Primary School
We have implemented these basic principles to help keep our environment and the people in it safe, healthy and to try and stop the spread of infections. All the rules apply.
- It is New England Pre-Primary School’s responsibility to provide the necessary soap, water, disinfectant, wipes, cloths and towels.
- To receive each child as he/or she enters the classroom and observe any signs of illness. As per our Health and Safety and Infection Control policies ill children and staff may not come to the centre.
- Correct hand washing and sanitisation protocols, as described in the policy.
- Put posters up encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
- Ensure that classroom rubbish, wet waste and used PPE is removed daily and disposed of safely.
- To have protocols implemented for the handling of children who fall ill during the day.
- Ensure adequate, clean toileting facilities
- Correct and sensible apparatus cleaning protocols. This procedure is described in the Toys, Games and Equipment Cleaning Policy.
- Correct environmental cleaning and disinfecting protocols as detailed in this policy.
- Ensure adequate ventilation
- Social or Physical Distancing: Children need hugs and comfort – many get separation anxiety when their parents leave, sometimes they get physically or emotionally hurt, and contact is necessary for brain development.
- As far as possible we will promote social or physical distancing.
- It is already the practice at New England Pre-Primary School not to over-crowd the classrooms and there is sufficient space for the children to sit or play two (2) meters apart.
- In the learning corners of the classrooms, the number of children per activity is already restricted and this will continue.
- We teach and model creating space and avoiding unnecessary touching.
- When the children have to walk somewhere, to avoid crowding, we use a rope with a knots every 2,5 metres. Each child stands at a knot and walks in their place, we encourage them to try hard not to bump into the person in front of or behind them.
- Stay informed:
- New England Pre-Primary School stays informed with current information through reputable sources such as UNICEF, WHO and the South African Government.
- We try to be aware of fake information that may circulates by word-of-mouth or online.
- As new information emerges, the policies and practices at New England Pre-Primary School will be updated with new practices to ensure that the centre remains safe and healthy.
- Where necessary new policies will be implemented.
- It is our duty of care to assist parents to keep informed by sharing all our knowledge and resources with them.
Responsibility of Parents and Guardians
- Stay informed: Know the latest facts and understand basic information, symptoms, complications and how it is transmitted. This applies about to Coronavirus and any and all known and future diseases.
- Recognise symptoms of infections in your child and:
- Keep them at home when they are ill.
- Notify us that your child will be staying at home and advise us of your child’s symptoms.
- Seek medical advice.
- Only bring your child back to the centre when he/she is completely well again.
- Ensure that safe drinking water is available and toilets or latrines are clean and available at home.
- Ensure waste is safely collected, stored and disposed of.
- Explain to your child what is happening using simple words and reassure them that they are safe. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you and their teachers. Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding.
- Coordinate with New England Pre-Primary School to receive information and ask how you can support our safety efforts.
- Teach your children good hand and respiratory hygiene practices for when at the centre and elsewhere, for example:
- Frequent handwashing.
- Covering a cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue.
- Disposing of the tissue into a closed bin.
- Not touching their eyes, mouths or noses (the T-panel).
Our Sanitisation Station is:
- Located will be located at the large gate in the car park.
- We are hoping to acquire a Sanitizing Safety Tunnel; if not
- Apparatus and personnel for the Sanitisation Station:
- Two staff members:
- One to take and record temperatures.
- One to spray the sanitiser and put on the child’s mask/shield.
- A table.
- Two chairs.
- Attendance Register and Temperature Recording Register on a clipboard.
- Medication Register on a clipboard.
- Container and Clean plastic bags for the medications.
- Pens to fill in the registers.
- Disinfecting wipes to be used on the pens after each use.
- Sanitiser and spray bottles that produce a fine mist (to spray people’s hands, clothes and shoes).
- Children’s face shields/masks to be worn whilst at New England Pre-Primary School.
Sanitisation Station Protocols
- Before any person enters into New England Pre-Primary School they must report to the Sanitisation Station which is located at the large gate in the parking lot.
- We are hoping to secure a Sanitizing Safety Tunnel. If this happens the procedure will be as follows:
- Temperature check
- Attendance register
- “Kiss and drop” zone – (where possible parents will leave their children at this point)
- Parents to take the protective mask/shields their children wore to school with them
- Children go through the sanitizing tunnel
- Their new shield will be placed on them
- Hands sanitised
- They will be taken to their classrooms by a staff member
- Please note that should a parent be required to go with their child, they will be required to follow the same process through the tunnel on the way in and on the way out.
- The following people may be in the Sanitisation Station at a time:
- School nurse or staff member who is authorised to screen and record temperatures.
- The staff member who sanitises the people before they enter the centre.
- One parent and his/her children, or the member of staff who received the children.
- One visitor at a time where absolutely necessary.
- If children arrive whilst another is being screened they must wait in the line outside the Sanitisation Station in the demarcated places 2 metres apart.
- Temperature Screening:
- We use an infrared hands free thermometer to take temperatures.
- The child’s temperature will be taken and recorded on the Temperature Recording Register.
- The parent’s temperature will be taken.
- If either the parent or the child has a temperature above 37,4 neither one will be allowed to enter the facility.
- The mask the child is wearing upon arrival will be removed and handed to the parent to take away.
- If the parent is not there the child’s mask will be sanitised and placed in a plastic bag marked with the child’s name.
- The staff member or parent will put on the mask/shield that the child uses whilst in our care.
- Sanitising: Before entry into the facility the child and parent’s clothing, shoes and hands will be sanitised with a fine spray.
- Medication Administration:
Please note the only medication administered at school are: Allergy medication; asthma pumps, Ritalin etc. NO medication / antibiotics for coughs, colds, etc will be received. If children are not well THEY MUST STAY AT HOME
If a child is on medication the Medication Administration Register must be signed and the following protocols apply:
- Parent’s medication protocols:
- The parent enters the Sanitisation Station and sign in the medications on the Medication Administration Register that will be located in the area.
- The medications must be in a clean plastic bag.
iii. The bag is handed to the member of staff who sterilises it and places it in a container out of reach of the children.
- When all the children have been received, the medications and Medication Administration Register will be taken the Secretary’s office.
- Under the same conditions, the meds must be signed out when the child is collected from school, and signed in again the next morning.
vii. Please see the Health and Safety Policy for the detailed medication administration protocols.
- Taxi/lift club medication protocols: The Medication Administration Register cannot be completed by the parents who are dropped-off and collected by taxis and/or lift clubs, therefore, the parents must provide New England Pre-Primary School with a signed letter:
- Giving permission for us to administer the medications.
- Provide the start and end date that the child will be taking the medications.
iii. Provide the dosage and time the medications must be administered.
- When the child/children are collected in the afternoon, the member of staff who takes the children to the vehicle, he/she will hand the medications to the driver or other designated person, in a clean plastic, to deliver back to the parents.
Age Appropriate Health Education
This section of the policy describes how we engage with the children on preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases and other viruses.
- Children will be watched and we constantly reinforced that they not to touch their own faces nor each other’s.
- The focus is on good health and hygiene behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing their hands frequently and correctly.
- We sing a song while washing hands to practice the recommended 20 second duration.
- When we sanitise the children’s hands they “practice” the hand washing steps with hand sanitizer until it has dried.
- The children to sit far enough apart from one another. We have them practice stretching their arms out and ‘flapping their wings’. There must be enough space to not touch their friends.
- We use puppets and/or dolls to:
- Demonstrate symptoms (sneezing, coughing, fever).
- What to do if they feel sick (i.e. their head hurts, their stomach hurts, they feel hot or extra tired).
- How to comfort someone who is sick (cultivating empathy and safe caring behaviours)
- Help the children cope with stress by responding to them age-appropriately:
- Being supportive and explaining what is happening.
- Listen to their concerns, take time to comfort them and give them affection.
- Reassure them they’re safe and praise them frequently.
- Create opportunities for children to play and relax.
- Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible.
- If new routines are necessary they will be discussed with the children.
- Give them clear examples on what they can do to help protect themselves and others from infection.
- The information is shared in a reassuring way.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Upon arrival staff members will be signed in by the Secretary who will take their temperatures and sanitize them before entry into the school.
- Their temperatures will be recorded on the Temperature/ attendance Register.
- Upon arrival the parents, or the member of staff who is supervising the registers, will sign the child in.
- The children’s temperatures will be recorded on the Temperature Register.
- Monitoring and Tracking:
- The Attendance Registers will be used to monitor and track absenteeism and compare them against usual absenteeism patterns.
- If there is a large increase in child and staff absenteeism due to respiratory illnesses, we will alert our Environmental Health Practitioner.
Administration and The Office
- Please try to adhere to our NO CASH policy;
- If there is no alternative but to use cash the policy is as follows:
Cash payments: Upon receiving coins or paper money the staff member:
- Places the cash in the lockup money box.
- Immediately sterilises his/her hands, even if they are in gloves.
- Writes a receipt and politely pushes it on the desk towards the person who made the payment.
- Disinfects the money box and puts it in the safe.
- Banking the cash:
- Prepare the cash for banking on one surface/table.
- Assemble everything needed to complete the task:
- Sanitiser and cloth
- Deposit book/slip
- Coins and paper money
- Plastic bank bags
iii. Count, sort and record the money.
- Place it in bank bags.
- Sterilise the outside of the bags.
- Sterilise the pen after use.
vii. Sterilise the whole surface/table and leave to air dry.
viii. Wash and sterilise hands.
- Preferred methods of payment: -Debit Order -EFT.
- Regular paper does not carry viruses for any significant amount of time.
- The paper in the office is stored in drawers that keep it as dust and grime free as possible.
- Once a week the paper drawers are emptied, washed, disinfected and left to air dry. Once dry they are repacked and put away.
- Twice a day (at least) desks, tables and chairs are cleaned and disinfected.
- Regularly touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected three times a day (at least).
- Electronic equipment and keyboards are sanitised after each use.
COVID-19 Protocols Upon Arrival in the Mornings and Collection in the Afternoons
Arrivals: Parent Drop-Off
- Arrival in the mornings is staggered.
- Every parent has been issued with a schedule of a time frame when they may drop their child off. We strongly encouraged our parents to adhere to their child’s class drop-off times.
- Parents bring their child to the Sanitisation Station.
- One parent and child is allowed into the Sanitisation Station at a time.
- The parent has the option of handing their child to a member of staff rather than bringing him/her in themselves.
- The member of staff who receives the child will see him/her through the screening and sanitising process and take the child to his/her classroom afterwards.
- Unless is child is experiencing separation anxiety, parents are encouraged to allow our staff to take the children through the sterilisation and screening process.
Arrivals: Taxi or Lift Club Drop-Off
- Depending upon the number of children in the vehicle, one or two members of staff will meet the child/children at the door of the vehicle.
- The staff member will have be a rope with knots in it 2,5 metres apart. Each child will hold a knot, so that they stand in a line, and the staff member/s will guide them to the Sterilisation Area.
- The children will go into the Sterilisation Area one at a time with a staff member, the other staff member will supervise the children standing in the queue outside the area.
- The member/s of staff who collect the children from the vehicle will have their shoes sterilised each time they enter the Sterilisation Area.
- The drivers and/or supervisors in the vehicle will not be allowed entry to out facility.
- Taxi and lift club arrival times have been worked into the drop-off schedule in such as way that it accommodates everybody.
Collection in the Afternoons
- Upon arrival the parent reports to the Sterilisation Area where their temperature will be screened and the sterilisation process will be conducted as described in Arrivals.
- Alternatively, the parent may wait outside the door of the Sterilisation Area, in a demarcated space, and WhatsApp us to bring the child to the door.
- The children for the taxi/lift club will be ready for collection at the designated time. When the children leave:
- The mask/visor they wear during the day will be removed and placed in a container to be sent for washing/sterilising before the children return again in the morning.
- Parents will place their own mask/visor on the child’s face.
- Children for taxi/lift clubs will remove their mask and it will be replaced with their own one (which had been previously sterilised as described in Arrivals).
Preparation and Procedures in the Event of a COVID-19 Outbreak and/or Temporary Closure
Please refer to our Infection Control Policy for the following protocols and procedures:
- The Health and Safety Policy describes the protocols for:
- Separating ill children and staff from those who are well.
- Informing the parents/guardians that a child is ill.
- The parent’s/guardian’s immediate response to a call regarding an ill child.
- Consulting with relevant Government departments wherever necessary.
- The use of Registers.
- Continuity of learning in the event of a lockdown/temporary closure.
Procedure in the Event of a COVID-19 Outbreak
Our procedures include keeping the classes separate from each other. Depending on the instructions from the authorities we may either be required to close that class or possibly the whole facility.
- Communication: The Principal will coordinate, communicate, follow guidelines and work with the Government departments and education authorities.
- The staff are encouraged to alert us and the health care authorities if someone in their home has been diagnosed with a communicable disease.
- Our parent-teacher association will assist with information sharing.
- Additional social distancing practices will be implemented they may include:
- Further staggering arrival and departure times.
- Cancelling all activities that may create crowded situations.
- Prepare the children:
- In an age appropriate fashion explain to the children that they won’t be coming to us for a while.
- The children will be encouraged to ask questions and express their feelings.
- We will explain that they may experience different reactions/feelings and encourage them to talk to their adults.
- We will provide information in an honest, age-appropriate manner.
- The staff members will be made aware of local resources for their own well-being.
- Temperature checking on entry: New England Pre-Primary School will check the temperature of the staff and children at our premises using infrared thermometers. These allow temperature recording from a distance, without the need for touch. A child or staff member with an elevated temperature will not be admitted.
- The temperature checks will be presented as ‘fun’, so as not to alarm our children. The infra-red thermometer will not be called “a gun” but it may be a “magic wand” or something friendly that children relate to.
Cleaning Protocols for Classrooms, Bathrooms and Other Rooms
Please refer to our Infection Control Policy for detailed instructions on our cleaning protocols.
- Staff may receive training in relation to this procedure, where it is identified in their appraisal as part of the specific development needs for their role and responsibilities.
- Information on the cleaning is cascaded to staff during their local induction process as/when relevant.
Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) and Infection Control Apparatus
- PPE List:
- Disposable gloves
- Face masks (staff and children)
- Face shield (staff and children)
- Disposable aprons
- “Used PPE” Bin:
- Each classroom, the office, the kitchen, sickbay and the isolation tent have a bin with a lid marked “Used PPE”.
- The bin must be lined with a plastic bag.
- Used masks, gloves, cleaning wipes, and aprons are disposed of in this bin.
- Twice a day, or more if needed, the bin liner and it’s contents are removed and disposed of at the refuse storage area in the correct bin.
- The bin is washed with disinfectant soap.
- When it is thoroughly dry a new plastic liner is placed in the bin.
- Disposable, non-powdered Latex free gloves will be provided and must be used where there is a risk of contact with blood or body fluids (nappy changes, etc.).
- New gloves must be used before each nappy change/toilet training routine, or before attending to wounds and illness that involve body fluids.
- Gloves must be washed or sanitised between each nappy change.
- Gloves are not needed where there is no exposure to blood or body fluids.
- After each use the used gloves and aprons must be disposed of in the “Used PPE” bin.
- Colour-coded, reusable household gloves are used for cleaning duties:
- Green = Kitchen
- Red = Toilets and potties
- Yellow = Sinks and taps
- Blue = Toys, books and surfaces
- Household gloves must not be shared and they must be washed after each job.
- Hands must be washed, dried and lotion applied after using gloves.
- Disposable, plastic aprons will be provided and must be used where there is a risk of contact with blood or body fluids (nappy changes, etc.).
- A new apron must be used before each nappy change/toilet training routine, or before attending to wounds and illness that involve body fluids.
- Aprons must be changed between each nappy change.
- After each use the used aprons must be disposed of in the “Used PPE” bin.
- Eye Protection: Goggles are to be available for use if there is a risk of splashing to face and eyes with blood or body fluids.
Spread of COVID-19 Through Food
COVID-19 is not spread through cooked food, but rather through an infected person working with, and serving the food.
Junior Chef will be put on hold, but children will be able to bring a small cupcake to school in their lunchboxes on a Friday.
This policy was adopted on …………………………………. At ……………………………………., and is in full force and effect at New England Pre-Primary School. Where necessary all the parents have been informed of this policy. All our employees have a good understanding of the contents of this policy and if at any time any of the clauses in this policy are contravened, normal disciplinary sanctions, as per the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, will be taken.
- Unicef: https://toolsforschool.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Key-Messages-and-Actions-for-COVID-19-Prevention-and-control-in-schools.pdf
- Standard Operating Procedures for Reporting of Notifiable Medical Conditions: https://www.nicd.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SOP-Notifiable-Medical-Conditions_-notification-procedures_v2Jan2018final-Copy.pdf
- Department of Health – Health and Safety Walk-through Risk Analysis and Evaluation
- Explaining Corona Virus to Children – Mindheart.Kids
- Supporting and Protecting Ourselves and Each Other – Unicef
- Workplace Preparedness: COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-19 virus) – Department of Employment and Labour
- Guidelines for Schools and Childcare Centres – Department of Basic Education
- Thank you to Celeste van Rensburg from Little Angels Montessori for her input to this policy