Getting ready to re-open your service may seem like a daunting task. The setting will look very different from when you were last there in March and many things will need to be put in place before the doors can re-open. WHO and the HSE are taking much action to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus across Ireland and the world and every sector of society must play their part. Returning to an early years’ setting will be particularly challenging as we balance the need to create the safest space possible with children’s needs and rights.
There are simple and low cost ways that WHO have outlined that you can start with in order to prevent the spread of the virus in your workplace. These steps can be done easily and cost effectively:
- Ensure the workplace is clean and hygienic by disinfecting and wiping down all surfaces regularly.
- Promote regular and thorough hand washing to employees, children and visitors. This can be done by putting hand sanitisers in prominent places, displaying posters promoting hand hygiene and making sure there is adequate access for staff, children and visitors to wash their hands with soap and water.
- Promote good respiratory hygiene by displaying posters in prominent places and having paper tissues available, along with closed bins to dispose of them in a correct and hygienic way.
- Brief employees and families that if Covid-19 begins to spread in your community that anyone with a mild cough or low grade fever needs to stay at home. Continually promote this message to staff and families of the service and ensure that you have posters in prominent places with this message for employees and families to see.
At The Early Years Shop, we now have a brand new section for Covid-19 Signs and Posters so that you will have the tools required to put some of the above measures in place. Most of the signs and posters are done using bright colours and pictures so that they are child-friendly and may even add some fun for the children when they do return. The new product range includes hand washing signs and guides for both adults and children, hand sanitiser adult only sign and Covid-19 symptoms guideline poster. These posters come in various sizes and are laminated so that they can easily be wiped clean on a regular basis.
There are also a number of non-slip floor stickers available to promote social distancing. These stickers are bright and colourful and add some fun into the concept of measuring physical distance. You can choose from floor stickers with two feet, two young children or a 2 metre ‘Sammy Snake’! If you would prefer to paint on floor markings we also have a ‘Feet’ floor stencil that is used with spray paint to make feet symbols on your floor or in outdoor areas. This is something that could be used beyond Covid-19 to mark out exercise or play areas for the children. The spray paint can be applied to any surface and again can be made fun by using bright colours that the children will engage with!
We do hope to add to this new range of Covid-19 products as we receive more information from the HSE and Tusla on the guidelines for returning to Early Years Services so please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more updates!