What can we expect when we reopen our doors in June?
SCA talks to childminder, Jade Hannah, about her experiences of providing childcare for key-workers during the Coronavirus lock-down. Jade Hannah, registered childminder with SCA since July 2019, cares for the children of key workers. Her setting has stayed open during the Coronavirus lock-down to enable parents who provide vital services to continue to work.
How do you manage the hand-over of children at the beginning / end of the day? Are you able to maintain social distancing?
This situation has actually been beneficial for me and the children I care for in the sense that separation is easier in the mornings. Parents drop children at the front gate, wave goodbye and come into the house where a bowl of hot water and soap is waiting. Collection, later on in the day, is via the back garden gate (we've had lovely weather so far!). It's worked so far and I think I'll continue this handover when all resumes.
Do your own family mix with the children you look after?
Yes, I'm not prepared to keep my own children in separate rooms whilst I play and care for other children. I try to keep them from sharing food/drink/hugs etc. When providing activities, such as baking or playdoh, they each have their own bowl/set to minimise the potential transfer of germs.
How do you manage the cleaning aspect of your setting?
High traffic areas are cleaned at the beginning and the end of the day with antibacterial spray, as well as wiped frequently throughout the day with antibacterial wipes. Toys that are often mouthed such as pretend food, dolls and pens have been removed and I Dettol spray the toys that are out. Blocks and other construction toys, balls and plastic toys are washed in a net bag at the end of the day.
Do you have a system/any tips for limiting the potential of spread of the virus between households?
Children bring a bag with lunch and comfort items that are only used for nap time. The bag is also packed with a sunhat and cream, spare clothes, nappies and wipes etc - it would be impossible to not do so. I have made it clear that families need to be following government guidelines if they wish for their child to attend my setting and if any family member is showing symptoms then the child would not be attending for the 14 days - unless tested negative.
Do you use any PPE equipment? Is this something childminders need to consider before 1st June?
No, other than what I already had in place, for instance, gloves for changing nappies. I have disposable aprons and a few masks in case a child shows symptoms of Covid-19 and is awaiting collection.
How has your routine changed?
Other than having my own child home instead of nursery, not much has changed for the children I care for. We're spending as much time as we can out in the garden, which has been enjoyed thoroughly. We have upped the hand washing, and all children ask me to wash their hands before sitting down for food and after being in the garden now.
Do you have any other tips for childminders who are about to reopen?
For the children that haven't been able to attend during this time, at the start of lock-down I packed a few craft and activities into bags for them to enjoy at home. As well as sharing videos of some activities we've been doing here and vice versa. It's lovely they've stayed in touch, but heart-breaking as they seem to have grown so much in this time that I’ve missed with them! My own children have loved having additional children come to play, they've all missed the socialising so I'm glad I can still provide a service, albeit a reduced one.
Jade Hannah runs “Jade’s Happy Days Childminding” on a quiet road in Cheriton, Kent. She provides a home from home environment and is passionate about providing children with opportunities to develop through plenty of messy and sensory play. If you are looking for childcare and would like to get in touch with Jade, please follow the link https://www.scachildcare.co.uk/registered-childminders or contact SCA on 01728 746970. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.