Updated Covid-19 Operational Plan

Please take the time to read our updated Covid-19 Operational plan, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.


Updated 02/12/2021


The safety of our staff, children, and families are of paramount importance to us here at Jack in the box day Nursery.

While Covid-19 continues to pose a threat, adapting our processes and procedures will enable us to minimise the risk and spread of infection, allowing children to return to our nursery in a phased approach.

The first phased return enabled children who were due to start school in September 2020. Our second phased return supported children of working parents return to nursery so that parents could get back to work. The final phased return has allowed all children to return to nursery in line with government guidance.

The nursery will continue to follow advice and guidance from government policies. Furthermore, not only will Jack in the box day nursery continue to follow and act upon the guidance issued by the Department for Education, we will stay abreast of any new information in order to adjust our policies where necessary.

We are confident that the new processes and procedures will provide the best possible levels of protection for both our children and our staff.

Please take some time to familiarise yourself with the information provided in this guidance.

We would like to thank you all for your support and patience.

Sam Delaney-Johnston


Clare Jephcote

Assistant Manager


The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature- this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

  • A new, continuous cough- this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough it may be worse than usual)

  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste- this means you have noticed that you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus will have at least one of these symptoms.

If your child or someone in your household is displaying 1 or more of these symptoms please inform the nursery before attending.


If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible

  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you have your test result- only leave your home to have a test

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must stay at home until you get your result.

If you are worried please use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service, or call 111 if you cannot get online help.

Babies and children

Call 111 if you are worried about a baby or child under the age of 5.

If your child seems very unwell, or is getting worse. Or you think that there is something seriously wrong, call 999.


  • Only children who are symptom-free or have completed the required isolation period may attend the nursery.

  • Temperature checks will be taken throughout the day and will be monitored throughout the day if necessary. Staff temperatures will also be taken.

  • If your child appears to be unwell we advise that you keep them at home until they are feeling 100%.

Government guidance states that there are certain groups of individuals who are at higher risk if infected by the coronavirus. The government procedures for access to the nursery relating to the shielded and vulnerable is detailed below:


  • Only parents who are symptom-free and have completed the required isolation period will be able to drop-off or collect children form the nursery, parents will not be permitted to enter the building.

  • Where parents are waiting to drop-off or collect their child, social distancing should be maintained at all times.

  • Parents/carers will remain outside of the building at drop off and collection times, please use the buzzer system to announce yourself and be patient whilst a member of staff comes to the door to collect/ hand over your child. (if you require a more lengthy conversation or a private chat with a member of staff please contact the office and we can arrange this, should this be needed you will be required to wear a mask as this will take place inside of the building).

  • Please wash your child’s hands prior to them entering the setting at the provided hand washing station, there is also hand sanitiser next to the buzzer for parents/carers to use.


Government guidance advises that, where possible mixing should be minimal within the setting therefore, children will be within age group bubbles. While it is recognised that young children are unable to social distance, this is deemed the safest way to minimise the risk of infection.

Within each nursery room based on OFSTED regulations, staff to child ratios are as follows:

  • 0-2 years: Maximum of 3 children (1:3)

  • 2-3 years: Maximum of 4 children (1:4)

  • 3-5 years: Maximum of 8 children (1:8)

While children are separated into these ‘bubbles’, the following rules will apply:

  • Bubbles of children will not mix during the day.

  • Staff in different bubbles within working hours do not mix during the day. (if this is necessary, they will wear a mask).

  • Care routines, including meal times, nappy changing and toileting will be conducted within each bubble.

  • The use of internal communal spaces will be restricted as much as possible.

  • Outdoor spaces will be used by different ‘bubbles’ at different times of the day.

  • Should we be made aware of a positive case of Covid-19 within the setting the bubble of this child will be notified.

  • Should you suspect your child or anyone within the family home has symptoms and you are requested to take a test, you will be required to provide evidence of this result.


  • Children will be supported in age appropriate ways to understand the steps that they can take to keep themselves safe, such as regular hand washing and sneezing into a tissue. We will follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

  • Based on current evidence and the measures that we are putting into place, face coverings are not necessary for nursery staff to wear when in the setting, even where social distancing is not possible as children need care and support. Face coverings may cause a negative impact on interacting with children therefore, as a setting we will avoid wearing masks unless it is absolutely necessary (eg-a suspected case).


  • Digital paper work will be increased therefore, should you require additional feedback this will be communicated through tapestry/whatsapp.

  • Staff will provide minimal verbal feedback to parents on collection of children, however, should you require a more in depth conversation or have any worries or concerns this may be provided via a telephone conversation or a whatsapp message.

  • Any new medication will need to be verbalised to nursery staff via whatsapp or telephone conversations so that staff may prepare the appropriate medication form prior to the child coming to nursery to avoid prolonged delays at the door completing forms.

  • Accident forms will be shared via whatsapp or telephone conversation and parents will be required to respond in acknowledgment as this will be printed off in place of a parental signature.

  • We will continue to provide information to parents with regular communication so that we can work together in ensuring safe operating procedures for your child and family.


Hygiene procedures in our nursery are robust, even in normal circumstances, however, it is recognised that these will need to be further strengthened as outlined below.

  • All children and staff must thoroughly wash their hands upon arrival, and frequently throughout the day, particularly before and after toileting, eating, and handling of resources (toys/equipment).

  • All waste will be disposed of in a hygienic and safe manner ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach is followed.

  • Bins will be emptied and sufficiently disinfected.

  • Used personal protective equipment (PPE, for dealing with a possible covid case) such as masks, gloves, aprons, etc will be disposed of in a closed bin, outside of the building.

  • Any new activities will be risk assessed, and usual practice will be continually reviewed and adapted where necessary. Any activities where strict hygiene procedures cannot be followed, such as sand and playdough will not take place.

  • Children will not be allowed to bring in items from home to the nursery unless it is essential for their well-being, such as comforters. Children will be encouraged to part with these once they are settled.

  • All resources required for play and learning experiences in the nursery will be regularly washed and sterilised at the end of each sessions (eg lunctime and end of day) outdoors this will be done more regularly.

  • Equipment such as stationary, tablets (Ipads) etc will be allocated to individual colleagues where possible and cleaned before and after use.


  • A Nominated colleague will take responsibility each day for ensuring continuous cleaning across the nursery. The cleaning schedule will remain a priority and will include communal touchpoints such as doors/handles, bathrooms, handwashing facilities, stair rails, garden equipment, hard surfaces and toys.

  • Toys that cannot be easily cleaned have been removed from the nursery.

  • All items within the nursery which require laundering will be laundered in line with NHS laundry guidelines.

  • Items such as towels, flannels and bedding will not be shared between children, in line with our normal practice.

  • Windows will remain open where possible to provide adequate ventilation.


  • In the event a child displays symptoms of COVID-19 when at nursery, parents/carers will be contacted immediately and must be collected as soon as possible.

  • Families will be advised to self-isolate at home in line with NHS guidelines and not return to nursery until the isolation period is over, and your child is no longer symptomatic.

  • A child displaying symptoms will be isolated with a member of staff in their ‘bubble’ in a previously identified room or area. If possible, a window will be opened for ventilation.

  • Suitable PPE will be provided to the member of staff so that they are able to isolate themselves with the child safely. PPE includes a surgical face mask, apron and gloves.

  • Once the child has been collected from the nursery, the room/area used to isolate the child will be thoroughly cleaned by the member of staff wearing the PPE.

  • In the event a colleague displays symptoms of COVID-19 when at work, they will be provided with a face mask and advised to return home immediately.

  • Staff will be reminded of NHS guidelines regarding isolation and personal care and will not be allowed to return to work until the isolation period is over, and they are no longer symptomatic.

The government encourages staff and children attending an education or childcare setting after 1st June 2020 to get tested if they display symptoms of COVID-19. Government guidance states:

Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their group (bubble) within the setting that are identified as close contacts will be informed. It is recommended that children/staff identified as close contacts carry out a PCR test.

It is also recommended for families to regularly carry out lateral flow tests, these can be accessed at your local pharmacy for free and at other listed locations. We also have some within the setting should you need to ask.

If your child is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 and you do not want to have them tested we advise that they remain at home to isolate for 10 days to ensure that we reduce the spread of infection.


  • Colleagues are only permitted to attend the nursery if they are symptom free, have completed the required isolation period and achieved a negative test result.

  • Staff will follow social distancing guidelines during break times, and working hours staff do not mix from different bubbles.

  • Any staff meetings and training will be conducted via video conferencing.

  • Staff have access to regular lateral flow tests should they wish to do so, it is recommended that this is done twice weekly.


As an early years provision it is necessary for some external visitors to enter the premises such as external professionals (Eg speech and language, IDS, social workers).

If perspective parents/carers wish to visit the setting:

  • All visitors are required to wear face coverings and there is regular handwashing before and after the visit.

  • Access is only permitted to areas where the children/staff are not, otherwise visits will be carried out outside of opening hours.

  • All visitors will be made aware of our system controls prior to visiting.

Parents settling children:

  • For children whom are struggling to settled, parents/carers may be invited into the setting to help children to adapt to their new environment.

  • Wear face coverings.

  • Stay for a limited amount of time (ideally no longer than an hour).

  • Avoid close contact with other children.

  • Are aware of our settings system controls.

External professionals:

  • Follow guidance relevant to the setting (prior to settings entering we will email them our risk assessment and they will provide us with their risk assessment).

  • Wash hands frequently.

  • Where possible to do so maintain social distancing.

  • Be informed of the settings system controls.

  • No face to face meetings will be conducted between staff and professionals after the visit. Further communication will be carried out via telephone.

  • Where possible (weather permitting) all interactions will take place in the outdoor area of the setting.

A record will be kept of all visits and all visitors will be required to sign in and out leaving their contact details.

Outbreak Management

If there are 5 or more connected cases this will be classed as an outbreak within the setting. Should this happen all close contacts will be notified immediately, face coverings will be reintroduced whilst deemed necessary to reduce the spread further.

Omicron Variant

The Prime Minister announced on 27th November 2021 the temporary introduction of new measures as a result of the Omicron variant. These measures are precautionary, while the variant is tracked and assessed. As a result, guidance for early years settings temporarily recommends wearing face coverings in communal areas for staff and visitors and changes to isolation requirements of confirmed or suspected cases of the Omicron variant and their contacts. This advice remains subject to change.

All individuals who have been identified as close contacts of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age will be contacted directly and required to isolate immediately and book a PCR test.

All children and staff travelling to England must adhere to travel legislation, details of which are set out in government travel advise.

All travellers arriving to the UK will need to self isolate and get a PCR test by day two after arrival. Isolation may end when a negative result is received, if a result is positive, isolation must continue. All red list arrivals must enter quarantine.


It is highly recommended for staff, parents/carers to have the vaccination for Covid-19.

People that are vaccinated will not be required to isolate should they be identified as a close contact (unless it is the Omicron variant). Unvaccinated staff, parents/carers that are identified as close contacts will be required to follow government guidance and rules for self-isolation.

Keeping in touch whilst your child is isolating

All children should be able to attend as normal, with the exception of those that have to self-isolate.

All parent’s/carers have access to tapestry online journal to share pictures and information of their child’s learning and development. Your child’s key person will provide learning opportunities via tapestry for children to complete whilst at home. You can also access learning tools including:

Hungry little minds- providing simple fun activities for children aged 0-5 year.

BBC tiny happy people- activities for babies, toddlers and children.

Words for life.

Help Children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home: coronavirus (COVID-19).

We will work with local authorities to monitor the welfare of:

Vulnerable children who are not attending the provision.

Other children they may wish to keep in touch with for safeguarding purposes.

Welcoming children back to the setting

In most cases, parents and carers will agree that a child with symptoms should not attend the setting, giving the potential risk to others. If a child is showing symptoms and a parent or carer insist on a child attending the setting we are able to use reasonable judgment to refuse the child in order to protect other children and staff from possible infection with Covid-19. Decisions would be considered carefully in line with current public health advice.