Guidance for parents & carers of children accessing education and/or childcare
To keep children and staff safe within education and childcare settings, guidance has been published by the Department for Education (DfE) and Public Health England (PHE) that all education and childcare providers must follow. This includes measures they must follow to minimise the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission and what to do if children or staff develop symptoms. It is really important that you help nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges by following the advice set out here and wider public health advice and guidance.
What parents and carers can do to keep education and childcare settings safe :
If your child or someone in their household or support bubble is showing COVID-19 symptoms:
Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college.
Do: · Follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
· Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms.
· Inform your child’s school or childcare provider of the symptoms and later the results of the test.
· If the test is then positive, engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
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’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
What a school/childcare provider must do if your child develops COVID-19 symptoms
If your child has developed symptoms at home, the school/childcare must not accept your child until they have had a negative COVID-19 test result or have isolated for 10 days.
If your child develops symptoms whilst at the school or childcare provider, they will contact you and ask you to collect the child immediately. You will be advised to isolate and get a test for your child. Your household and support bubble must also stay at home until they have had their result.
What a school/childcare provider must do if a child receives a positive COVID-19 test result
They will ensure that the child who has had a positive result does not return to the setting for 10 days from the start of symptoms. They will follow any additional advice provided by Public Health and local Health Protection Teams.
Any child/staff member who has been in close contact with the confirmed case will be notified by the school/childcare provider and asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the confirmed case’s first day of symptoms.
Additional advice for the following situations:
Teething : NHS guidance states ‘Some people think that teething causes other symptoms, such as diarrhoea and fever, but there’s no evidence to support this.’
Any child exhibiting a high temperature should be isolated and asked to get a test.
Post-immunisation fever : Vaccines may cause a fever which usually resolves within 48 hours (or 6 to 11 days following MMR). This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected.
Children who are unwell but are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms
Where a child has an illness that does not display COVID-19 symptoms, or has had a negative test and is still unwell, you will be expected to follow the schools/settings usual sickness policy. For example, this may mean keeping the child at home for 48 hours from their last episode of fever or vomiting and until they are well enough to return.
Where a child has had a negative COVID-19 test, they are not required to have a further test for the same episode of symptoms.