Safe Operating Procedures

Updated September 2020

Our Safe Operating Procedure contains details of the protective measures we have put in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus to our staff, children and their families, since reopening on June 1st.  It outlines how we will support staff and children’s well-being as they adapt to a ‘new normal’, whilst maintaining the warm, welcoming and happy environment we have always provided.

The government acknowledge that it is very difficult to socially distance young children in a Early Years setting, however, with some sensible and realistic precautions, we can minimise the risks. We have developed these Safe Operating Procedures based on guidance from Public Health England and the Department of Education guidance for educational settings and their key workers.

You can download our Covid-19 Risk Assessment here:

EYC Covid-19 Risk Assessments



All children are welcome to the setting providing that they, or anyone in tier household are not displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

Symptoms include:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss or change in your sense of smell or taste

If a child is displaying ant of these symptoms,they will not be permitted to attend nursery until they have completed the required isolation period (10 days), or a negative test result has been received.

If you, or a member of your household is contacted by the Test and Trace programme, the contacted individual must self-isolate.  If the contacted individual displays symptoms, everyone in their household must also self-isolate. Prompt exclusion is essential to prevent the spread of infection.

It is preferable that your child only attends one setting to avoid mixing with different groups of children and minimise the risks with the settings.

Drop of and collection of children:

As from 8th September, the nursery will return to its normal opening hours of 8am – 6pm.

Parents and carers should drop off / collect at the main entrance,if possible. A member of staff will be at the main entrance to greet your child and take them to their room.

Parents entering the nursery must wear a face masks and wash their hands, and their child’s hands in the foyer before going to their child’s room.  Maintain social distancing and minimise contact with staff, other parents and children whenever possible.

Limit drop off / pick up to only one parent per family. Parents will be allocated a time for arrival and drop off, to manager the flow of parents and reduce queueing time. Drop off / pick up time to be kept as brief as possible. Feedback at the end of the day will be shared via Tapestry.

Temperature and symptom monitoring:

Following government guidance, children and staff will not have their temperature tested on arrival at nursery each day. Guidelines inform us that a more effective method is to feel the chest and back. If we suspect that a child or staff member has a fever, their temperature will then be taken and monitored.

Travelling to nursery:

Whenever possible, staff, parents and children should travel by car, bike or walk. If public transport is necessary, current guidance one the use of public transport must be adhered to.

Items from home

Children are not permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their well-being. Where this is the case, items should be appropriate cleaned on arrival.

Parents to provide sterilised dummies / comforters in sealed zip-bags if their child would be distressed without it. Please label bags with child’s name.

If your child would be distressed without their blanket / comforter, please wash it, put it in a zip-bag and hand it to your child’s carer on arrival. Zip-bags will be wiped clean on arrival. Your child will be given their comforter when needed.


Social distancing / grouping

The government acknowledges that it is very difficult to socially distance young children in an Early Years setting, however, with some sensible and realistic precautions, we can minimise the risks.

Playrooms and groups:

As from 20th July, it was not longer a requirement to arrange children and staff in small consistent groups (bubbles). However, we will continue to minimise mixing within the setting by keeping rooms apart as much as possible.

We will use age and developmentally appropriate ways to encourage the children to follow social distancing, hand-washing and other guidance, including through games, songs and stories.

Meal times:
  • Children will stay in their rooms to eat their meals and will not mix with other rooms.
  • Staff will ensure food, cups and cutlery are not shared.  Water bottles will be personalised with a picture to make them easy for children to recognise.
  • Flannels to be washed after each use at high temperature.
  • BPS1 and 2 will eat their meals in their room and not in the school hall.
Communal areas:

We will maintain small groups when moving through the nursery (e.g. from rooms to foyer). Groups will not mix or gather in the foyer or by entrances.

The use of the Early Years playground will be staggered so that Reception, Nursery Class and Big Playschool do not mix.

Staff to not enter the kitchen unless it is essential and they can maintain social distancing.  Only one member of staff allowed in the kitchen with Dionne.


Children’s well-being

children will be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of Covid-19. We recognise that supporting children’s attachments and providing emotional support is especially important at this time.

We will support children by:

  • Providing a range of fun and engaging activities throughout the day for the children to enjoy.
  • Carers will give children cuddles when needed.
  • Make handwashing fun by using songs and stories.
  • Support children’s emotional health and well-being using ‘A Box Full of Feelings’ and other activities.
  • Books and activities for young children that explain social distancing and handwashing in an age appropriate way.




Parents may enter the nursery for the purpose of settling-in sessions, if not doing so would cause a child distress. The manager will give further guidance prior to the child settling. It is important that social distancing continues to be maintained at all times.

Parents will be asked to take their child’s spare clothes bag home on the first day, wash it and fill it with freshly laundered spare clothes. Please label all clothes with your child’s name.


We will aim to organise groups of children who are due to transition so they can transition together.


Attendance to the setting will be restricted to children and staff as far as practically possible. Visitors will not be permitted to the nursery unless essential (e.g. essential building maintenance). Where essential visits are required, these will be made outside of the usual nursery operational hours where possible.

Nursery show-rounds:

  • Prospective parents should make use of the nursery’s website for information relating to the ethos and the organisation.
  • Any families wishing to look around the setting with a view to starting at the nursery, will be required to book in for a suitable time with the nursery manager. Only one adult will be permitted to attend. They will not be permitted to enter any of the nursery rooms. The nursery manager will socially distance from them throughout the show-round.

Meetings and open-door policy:

Under normal circumstances we have an open-door policy for parents to come in and speak to a manager. However, due to Covid-19 and social distancing, it will not be possible to invite parents into the office. Parents can however, arrange a meeting by phone if they wish to discuss their child’s development, or if they have any concerns which they wish to discuss.

Progress chicks for 2-year olds:

Progress checks for 2-year olds are currently suspended.


Health, Hygiene and Safety

It is recognised that good hygiene and cleaning practices will significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the virus, as well as everyone being alert to symptoms.


We will ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the nursery by opening the doors and windows as much as possible.


Modified and extended cleaning routines have been implemented throughout the nursery, including in the nursery rooms, kitchen, toilet and washing facilities and communal areas such as stairs adn corridors.

We employ three cleaners who clean the nursery throughout, in the evenings (Mon – Fri). Cleaning schedules and rotas are in place for staff and cleaners to follow.


Children and staff will wash their hands frequently through the day. Children will be encouraged to sing our handwashing song, to ensure that their hands are fully washed for the required length of time.

Hand sanitiser has been positioned at all entrances to the setting.

Use of tissues:

Children will be supported in age appropriate ways to understand the steps they an take to keep themselves and others safe and this includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue, (or their arm if immediate). They will be encouraged to dispose of the tissue in a bin straight away and then wash their hands. Where children are not able to wipe their own noses, staff will assist them and then wash or sanitise their own hands each time.

Toileting and nappy changing:

  • Staff can wear disposable gloves and aprons when changing nappies if they wish.
  • Staff to dispose of gloves safely and wash their hands thoroughly after each nappy change.
  • Staff should only change nappies of children in their group. Toilet areas and hand washing facilities will be cleaned frequently during the day.
  • Accidents are cleaned up immediately and area is cleaned using disinfectant.

Sleep time:

  • Staff distance beds and cots where possible.
  • Rooms will be well ventilated.
  • Bedding is not shared by children and is washed regularly at high temperatures.
Risk Assessments:

All risk assessments will reflect the risk of transmission of Covid-19. Certain activities have been adapted or removed to reflect the risk, e.g. trips to the shops.

Resources at nursery:

Toys and resources that are difficult to clean will be removed, including cushions and soft toys. The children will only share toys and activities within their groups. We will aim to sanitise items at the end of each day.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):

Government guidance is that PPE is not required for general use in nurseries to protect against Covid-19 transmission. Handwashing, effective cleaning and social distancing are the most effective measures.

  • Face masks to be worn if social distancing is difficult to maintain
  • Staff can wear disposable gloves and aprons when changing nappies, if they wish.
  • Staff wear disposable gloves and aprons when preparing and serving food and administer first aid (e.g. treating cuts and grazes)
  • Cleaners to wear disposable gloves and aprons for general cleaning.
  • If a child has a suspected case of coronavirus whist at nursery, the supervising adult must wear the appropriate PPE while waiting for the child to be collected.
  • Cleaners must wear the appropriate PPE when cleaning after a suspected case of coronavirus.
  • Staff must remove PPE with care, dispose of carefully and wash hands for 20 seconds after removing.



Extra curricular activities:

  • Forest School sessions resume on 28 Sept at Shoreditch Adventure Playground
  • From September, Big Playschool will be having weekly French lessons with Marie (Marie works in BPS)
  • Football sessions will resume in September with Coach James and will take place outside on the football pitch or a the park.
  • Extra-curricular activities which are taught by visiting specialists who enter the setting (i.e. art and music), are currently suspended until further notice. However, staff will continue to do music and art sessions with the children within their groups.
  • Swimming sessions at Britannia Leisure Centre are suspended until further notice.

Outdoor Play:

we will spend as much time as possible outdoors, playing on our balcony, in our Early Years Centre and at our local parks.

Early Years Playground:

The use of the Early Years playground will be staggered so that Reception class, Nursery class and Big Playschool do not mix. A strict timetable has been put together so that children from different classes do not mix.

  • The playground equipment will be cleaned after use by each class.
  • Children can use the mud kitchen. Equipment will be cleaned after use by each class.
  • The sandpit will be closed until further notice.



Outings to local parks
  • We will maintain small groups when moving through nursery (e.g. from room to foyer). Groups are not to mix or gather in foyer or by entrances.
  • All outings will be risk assessed, giving due consideration to any adaptions to usual practice.
  • Outings from the nursery will be to open spaces such as the local parks and will not include mixing with the general public.
  • Outings to the library and local shops will be stopped until further notice.
  • Staff will take the emergency rucksack on outings with gloves, anti-bacterial wipes and masks in it.
  • Hand wipes and sanitisers taken on outings. Staff to be aware of high-touch surfaces e.g. gates, and avoid communal areas, e.g. benches.
  • Outings will be staggered so that groups/rooms remain separate.
  • Buggies and six-seater buggies will be wiped clean after each use.
  • Staff and children will wash their hands when they return to the nursery.
  • equipment taken to the park, such as hoops and balls, will not be shared between groups and will be cleaned after use.
Playground visits
  • Children to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after playground visits.
  • Staff to wipe down high-touch playground equipment (e.g. swing rockers, slide) with anti-bacterial wipes before and after use.
  • Hand wipes will be taken on outings to clean children’s hands during the outing and after using playground equipment.
  • Staff and children to follow current social distancing guidelines when visiting playground and only use at quiet time.


Responding to a person displaying symptoms of Covid-19

Everyone is now eligible for a Covid-19 test, should they be displaying coronavirus symptoms. Any suspected or confirmed case must be report to the nursery manager as soon as possible.

A child displaying symptoms:
  • If a child begins displaying a continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home to isolate in accordance with the guidelines. We ask parents to collect their child as quickly as possible.
  • While a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to the office where they can be isolated behind a closed door with a appropriated adult. A window will be opened for ventilation.
  • The supervising adult must wear suitable PPE whilst waiting for the child to be collected. For further guidance see Symptomatic children action list – EARLY YEARS
  • If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
A member of staff displaying symptoms:
  • If a member of staff develops symptoms of Covid-19 (new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of smell and taste) whilst at nursery, they will immediately be sent home to self-isolate for the required incubation period. they must get tested a the earliest possible opportunity.
If there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in the nursery:
  • Parents will be immediately informed
  • Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class/group will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. (The other household members of that wider class/group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms).
  • All staff who attend the setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Positive tests will be reported to Public Health England by the nursery manager. if other cases are detected within the setting, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise on the most appropriate action to take.


Further guidance:

Actions for early years and childcare settings during the coronavirus outbreak

Safer travel guidance for passengers

Safe working in education and childcare settings including the use of personal protective equipment

Guidance on the number of people who can meet outdoors

Covid-19 decontamination in non-healthcare settings

Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers in the autumn term

Actions for educational-and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June

Planning guide for early years and childcare settings

Early Years Foundation Stage coronavirus disapplications

Supporting children and young people’s mental health and well-being during the coronavirus outbreak