Guidance for childcare and playwork: coronavirus
All settings should continue to be aware of the steps to take to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
In this page
Who should use this guidance
- Providers of childcare and play services registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales (including child minding, day care, sessional care, open access play and Flying Start provision) and approved nannies.
- Unregistered childcare and play providers in Wales (less than 2 hours a day or in line with the exceptions set out in the Child Minding and Day Care (Exceptions) (Wales) Order 2010)(as amended).
In Wales we are now moving from pandemic to endemic and living with COVID-19, as outlined in our ‘Together for a safer future: Wales’ long-term Covid-19 transition from pandemic to endemic (March 2022)’ plan. However, COVID-19 has not gone away and will remain with us globally. For this reason, it remains important for childcare and playwork settings, and Nannies, to consider what they can do to reduce the spread of the virus, and protect their staff and the children using their services.
The legal requirement to undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment no longer applies. Settings should manage COVID-19 in the same way as other respiratory infections and communicable diseases, taking appropriate control measures as required.
The Welsh Government Guidance: Public Health Advice for businesses, employers and event organisers outlines the public health measures that continue to be important in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Settings are encouraged to become familiar this Guidance and the corresponding checklist.
In particular, childcare and playwork settings should ensure they are aware of Public Health Wales (PHW’s) Infection Prevention and Control for Childcare Settings Guidance and Audit Tool For Childcare and Education Settings in Wales which provides guidance in relation to infection prevention and control practice, including cleaning of toys and equipment and how to deal with waste.
Mitigating measures that have been used throughout the pandemic continue to be key. All childcare and playwork settings should:
- consider how they can manage their operations to reduce the risk of transmission at the setting
- be aware of self-isolation advice and what this requires where someone tests positive for COVID-19
- ensure children and staff who are unwell with core COVID-19 symptoms do not attend the setting until they feel well enough
- ensure staff and children follow good hand and respiratory hygiene practices
- maintain effective cleaning regimes
- keep occupied spaces well ventilated
- encourage use of outdoor space where this is available. Most Open Access Playwork settings are based outdoors, but where there is a mix of indoor and outdoor provision, maximising the use of the outdoor element is important
- support vaccine take up
- ensure staff and parents are aware of a settings policies regarding COVID-19.
Nannies are advised to continue to take safety precautions when looking after children in the child’s home and consider the advice above, particular points around hand hygiene and adhering to self-isolation advice.
These measures above apply equally to childminders.
Childminders should be familiar with self-isolation advice and what they need to do if they have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. Any childminder who has a positive result should self-isolate and not provide a childminding service.
Childminders are able to remain open when a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19. In this situation childminders should ensure that every effort is taken to reduce the risk of transmission including:
- ensuring the positive case is isolated away from the childminder and the children being cared for in the home
- providing separate toilet facilities for the children being cared for. If this is not possible, increasing cleaning regimes (particularly after the positive case has used the facilities)
- alter working practices where feasible to reduce the risk of transmission – more time outdoors or away from the home
- increase ventilation, hand hygiene practices and cleaning regimes.
Childminders should notify families using their service when there is a positive COVID-19 case in their household. They should also advise families of the steps they are taking to reduce the risk of transmission.
If a childminder needs further advice, they should contact their local Environmental Health teams.