Contingency Plan for when a pandemic is announced by the United Kingdom Government.

Coten End Pre-school strives to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all children, parents, volunteers and staff. This pandemic policy outlines our overall response to a pandemic outbreak and our business continuity plan. It outlines specific steps the Pre-school will take to safeguard employees' health and well-being during a pandemic while ensuring Coten End Pre-schools ability to maintain essential operations and continue providing essential services to our families. In addition, it provides guidance on how we intend to respond to specific operational and human resource issues in the event of a pandemic.

Policy statement

A pandemic is declared when there is an outbreak of a new type of virus, which most people do not have immunity to, due to no previous exposure. This can happen at any time of year and may cause a very large number of the population to be infectedThis policy contains the Contingency Plan arrangements for Coten End Preschool in the event of a pandemic. This Plan will be reviewed annually and is subject to any developments in the international situation and advice received from external agencies.

The Contingency Plan is based on the following

  • Advice from the Chief Medical Officer;
  • Government
  • Pandemic. NHS Guidance on the current and future preparedness in support of a virus outbreak (National Health Service, January 2014)

The World Health Organization (WHO) have set out guidance for assessment of a pandemic risk with four phases of classification which are on a continuum in which the phases may change in a gradual or swift manner. These phases are non-linear, not always following a strict order. The WHO Pandemic Phase Classification is as follows: Interpandemic phase; Alert phase; pandemic phase and transition phase (WHO, 2013).

Although the WHO are responsible for declaring a Pandemic event internationally, the Department of Health (DOH) are responsible for the slightly different classification of pandemic phases in the United Kingdom that are clear and flexible. These are Detection, Assessment, Treatment, Escalation and Recovery.

A Pandemic Event.

Forward planning is essential when there is news of a Pandemic. The following should be carried out:

  • Coten End Pre-school will adopt the guidance in this policy and any advice provided by the government or WHO and will advise students, volunteers and staff to do the same.
  • All infection control measures will be intensified.
  • Pupils that become unwell with said symptoms will be isolated from the other children and parents will be contacted and told to collect their child immediately. Parents/carers will then need to follow isolation guidelines as set out by the Department of Health.·
  • All staff showing symptoms must report this to the manager immediately and will be told to go home or stay at home to self-isolate for the period of time as advised y the Department of Health
  • Public health advice will be closely followed by all visitors, children, parents and staff
  • Visitors will be told not to attend the setting. This will not apply to any agencies that require access to the setting in regard to safeguarding or child protection issues.
  • Access to the setting for parents may be restricted.

In the event of Government introducing a ‘lockdown’ phase and the Pre-school should close, it is intended that a skeleton number of staff will be available daily to provide childcare for those parents identified as Key Workers and for children identified as vulnerable. This service will continue whilst the following are in line:

  • it is financially viable for the setting to continue to stay open
  • by staying open will not impact on the safety and/or well being of Coten End Pre-school staff and their families
  • The setting has access to enough and appropriate PPE to safeguard all that will attend the setting during this time
  • There are sufficient numbers of staff, with relevant qualifications, not in self isolation or ill to continue to staff the setting.

The decision to close will be discussed between the settings manager and the Voluntary Management Committee. It is predicted that the Finance Manager and Pre-school Manager will continue to work from home to ensure continuous smooth running of the setting financially and to offer support to all parents in an unpresented event. Other staff will be classified as furloughed. Financial support for staff will follow as indicated in each individuals contract and in line with government advice at the time of a pandemic.

During the period in which Coten End Pre-school is closed to all children, bar Key Worker children and vulnerable children the following will apply:

  • Those families that do not come into these categories will not be charged private fees
  • Those families that could use the setting but find alternative childcare, will not be charged private fees
  • Those families that do use the setting will be charged private fees for the relevant sessions that they actually use during this period and that are out of funded hour allocation.

The manager will offer support to all parents/carers during this time, ensuring parents have email addresses and telephone numbers of how they can reach her/him and the finance manager

The Famly app will be updated regularly to advise parents of closure and reopening dates. This app will also provide activities that can be done from home. These activities will provide ideas for parents/carers and will not be mandatory to complete.

Any families that have children on the following registers will have weekly contact from the Manager. If the manager is unable to do this another DSL will be responsible to contact the following families:

  • Early Help
  • EHCP
  • Children in Need
  • Child Protection Plan
  • Looked After Children

Contact with all families will be by telephone or email, no one to one meetings will take place with any staff member and Coten End Pre-school families.

Contacts to local agencies that provide help to families during these times will be available on the Famly app.

Changes to this policy and procedure.

We keep this policy under regular review.

Version Author Date Description
Original Hazel Jones May 2020 Document Created