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Important health updates

The latest health information and guidance for childcare providers.

Scarlet fever and group A step (GAS) guidance

Public Health Dorset and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have put together some useful guidance for parents and settings regarding scarlet fever and group A strep (GAS). Find advice on what to look out for and the action to take once a case is confirmed. Take note that the recording process for settings has been updated too.

COVID-19

Government guidance

Public Health Dorset

COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities, so there are things we can all do to reduce the spread of the virus and other respiratory infections. This includes keeping children off nursery, school or college when they are unwell.

If a child is unwell with symptoms of a respiratory virus, they should:

  • Stay at home and avoid contact with others where possible
  • Return to the setting and normal activities when they no longer have a temperature and feel well enough to attend

If a child has a positive COVID-19 test, they should:

  • Stay at home and avoid contact with others for 3 days after they took the test
  • Return to the setting and normal activities after 3 days if they no longer have a temperature and feel well enough to do so

Full guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory virus is available on gov.uk.

Education settings no longer need to complete contact tracing for COVID-19 cases, but the UK Health Security Agency offer comprehensive guidance for schools and education settings on managing cases of infectious diseases. Public Health Dorset continue to provide additional public health advice and guidance to schools and education settings where needed.

Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being offered to children aged 5-15. Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine and how you can get it.

What you must tell Ofsted

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases

The Department for Education has announced that from 21 February 2022, early years settings are no longer required to notify Ofsted of any COVID-19 cases in the setting, whether that is of a child or staff member. They also do not have to submit notifications for any cases that have happened in the last 14 days.

It remains a legal requirement under the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework to report cases of serious illness. You should notify Ofsted as soon as practical, and in any case within 14 days of a notifiable event happening.

For information about what is classed as a notifiable event or serious incident and what to tell Ofsted, please refer to guidance on reporting a serious childcare incident.

Practical advice

Take the time to look at this guidance and please use it to update your policies and procedures in your setting as appropriate.

COVID-19: Temporary disapplications to the EYFS

Updated arrangements were put in place from 26 September 2020 until 31 August 2021 to allow providers to use the specific disapplications and modifications if any local or national government agreed coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions impact their ability to deliver the EYFS. This is described in more detail in paragraph 2.2.

New regulations came into force on 26 September 2021.

Safeguarding information

Emergency Planning and Response for Education, Childcare and Children’s Social Care Settings.

Please see the Early Years Safeguarding webpages for more comprehensive safeguarding information. 

Financial support

Please direct and rent queries on BCP properties to Julie Taylor at BCP Council.

Other useful advice

Preventing the spread of infection

Complete online COVID-19 basic training in under a hour with the Virtual College.

Educare have created five steps for preventing the spread of infection in early years. You can then complete the infection prevention at a cost of £14. They have also created some helpful PDF support resources which you can download.

We have also put together a range of further support resources for preventing the spread of infection.

Support for staff, families and their children who have had COVID-19

Over 100 settings have had either staff, families or children who developed COVID-19 over January and February this year and this has been a source of sadness and worry. For those who live in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole, additional practical support is available as well as the emotional support that is set out on our web pages and on the Family Information Directory (FID).

  • the council community support is good for staff and families and there is a simple online form to get the support that is most needed
  • for those colleagues whose symptoms linger there is a lot of support for long COVID-19 in adults and really useful information on the British Heart Foundation (BHF) website and via the National Health Service (NHS); there are 60 NHS clinics supporting people with long term outcomes of COVID-19
  • for children, there is lots of information on the long COVID kids website.