COVID-19: Summary of New Procedures

Limiting Contacts / Groups

The latest guidance recommends that we should keep children in groups of up to 30 when they are indoors; groups should stay at least two metres apart, and children from different groups should not mix.  It states that limiting children’s contacts will reduce the likelihood of direct transmission of the virus and reduce the overall number who may need to isolate in the event of an outbreak.

This recommendation is not ideal as it goes against our philosophy of promoting free play and social interactions between all age ranges. While this guidance is non-statutory, we will respect and follow it in the interest of everyone’s health and safety. We will review this procedure on a daily basis.

It has been acknowledged in the guidance, and by the Care Inspectorate, that this recommendation should only be followed “where possible”.  Given that all the children will be in one indoor space at the Afty, there may be times when children in different groups do come within 2m of each other.  Therefore, we will do our best, but we cannot completely guarantee that children in different groups will not mix.

Physical Distancing

Children will not have to physically distance from each other indoors or outdoors while they are at the Afty.  However, our staff, in accordance with the guidance, will physically distance from each other and the children, where possible.

The guidance recognises the importance of caring for children, their emotional needs, and helping them navigate through this difficult and anxious time.  Therefore, while our staff will encourage children to keep a 2m distance, this is not going to be practical or appropriate at all times in order to meet the children’s needs (younger children in particular).

We want children to still feel confident that they can approach our staff, and our staff team have all agreed that they are comfortable being within a two-metre distance, when appropriate, to better support the children’s needs.

Cleaning Practices

In line with the latest guidance, our staff will extend our cleaning regime with routine cleaning and disinfection of the premises, including touchpoints, surfaces, equipment and resources as appropriate. We have more staff working each day than is required by our staff to children ratios; this means we have staff available to address any issues without it impacting the children’s activities.


Staff will ensure there are adequate levels of ventilation by opening doors and windows, where safe to do so, to improve the circulation of fresh air.

Infection Control

Staff are aware of the latest NHS guidance on best handwashing practice, including how and when they should wash their hands.  They will make children aware too, and supervise them at all times to ensure it is done properly.  Staff will also encourage the children to cover mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve if they need to cough or sneeze, and to avoid touching their face.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Our guidance states that staff (and children) are not required to wear any PPE for general use at the Afty.  However, staff will wear PPE as appropriate when in close contact with children for 15 minutes or more, or where a need has been identified (supporting a child who is ill or has personal or medical needs).  We have been advised there is no need for staff to wear masks; the guidance also recognises the importance of children seeing facial expressions for their learning and development, and to help with communication.

Maximising Use of Outdoor Spaces

The guidelines state that outdoor environments can limit transmission and better enable distancing between children, so we will utilise our outdoor areas by providing more activities and equipment