Emergency Childcare Setting (ECS)

Pontarddulais Cluster Schools

Pontarddulais Comprehensive, Llangyfelach Primary, Pengelli Primary, Penllergaer Primary, Pontarddulais Primary, Pontlliw Primary

24th April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

The Pontarddulais Comprehensive School Emergency Childcare Setting (ECS) has been very successful as have other settings across the local authority. Swansea council have been working with these settings to provide them with a comprehensive risk assessment.  Our setting has adopted the risk assessment, and now needs to share some of the information included with you. Please take the time to read the information below and if you have any questions please ask either at the setting, or your Headteacher, via the method suggested by your individual school.

The risk assessment provided by the local authority and adopted by the setting has been written and reviewed using the most up to date guidance from Welsh and UK governments, Public Health Wales and England. Every effort has been made to mitigate the risk to children, staff and parents who use the emergency childcare settings. However, it is important to note that total mitigation of the risk of contamination/infection with COVID-19 is not possible.

The following control measures are in place to control the risk of infection:

  • Children will wash their hands on entry, exit, before eating, after using the toilet and at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Children will be watched whilst washing their hands to ensure it is completed correctly.
  • All surface, door handles and push buttons will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
  • All toys and equipment used will be disinfected, rotated and cleaned regularly after use.
  • Please ensure your child is sent to the childcare setting with the appropriate clothing, for example, in hot weather a sunhat, suntan cream and please apply the suncream before they attend the setting.
  • Social distancing will be followed, on the understanding that this can be very difficult to constantly maintain with very young children.
  • All parents and guardians must assure staff that their child(ren) DO NOT show symptoms of the virus before entering the ECS.
  • If a child attending the setting develops symptoms they must be collected immediately by the parent.
  • Children are grouped in two age categories; the two groups are staggered for lunch and break times to support maintenance of social distancing.
  • All children attending the setting must be signed in and signed out by a parent or guardian.
  • Children and parents queuing to enter/exit the ECS must maintain a social distance of 2 metres to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Parents must not enter the ECS building.

 Should the setting’s capacity fall due to the availability of staff the capacity may have to be reduced due to self-isolation or on-site infection.

The World Health Organisation, UK Government and Welsh Government advice has been updated to raise the level of alert with regards to risks associated with leaving our homes. As you know, the whole of the UK is now in lockdown, which means we are being instructed to stay at home and to only leave if circumstances make it absolutely necessary to do so.

Government websites continue to issue the warning of the need for children for children to stay at home. Quite simply, we are being told they are safer there. In the very rare cases where exceptional circumstances make this impossible, then emergency childcare settings run by volunteers are being made available. For obvious reasons, these settings carry risk of spreading the virus further and of individuals contracting the illness there, and so UK Government has issued the warning again this week that they should only be used as a last resort, when absolutely no other measures are available.

The ECS continue to prioritise emergency childcare for children where BOTH parents are NHS, blue light workers or social care workers. Children of parents, who are in the wider critical workers list (on Swansea Council website) are then considered via a booking system that has been communicated previously.  The website also reinforces that where only one parent falls into these categories “then the other parent should provide safe alternative arrangements at home”. Please note being eligible as a key worker does not guarantee a place at Pontarddulais ECS. Places are in high demand. Should our setting be full then parents will be directed to the education department in the local authority who would support you in finding an alternative setting. This is a time of emergency. We are all facing unprecedented circumstances and life for everyone is challenging right now. Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Many thanks

Pontarddulais Cluster Headteachers