7 things Early Childhood Development Centres will have to do before they reopen

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Your little ones may be super excited to go back to nursery school and see their teachers and friends again, but like most parents, you’re probably very nervous about the kind of health and safety measures being put into place to protect them.

Although an official date for the reopening of ECD centres and partial care facilities still has to be announced by the Government, the Department of Social Development has sent out a brief outlining  what they will have to do before they can readmit your child.

According to the circular all ECD staff, including managers, ECD educators and practitioners, administrative and support staff, are now expected to return to work to help prepare the premises and plan for its re-opening.

However, the Department stresses that the onus is on the ECD management to make sure that when their staff return, they all adhere to COVID-19 health, safety and social distancing rules.

The Department has also stipulated that the ECD centre or partial care facility has to establish its own measures and protocol for daily hygiene and cleaning practices on the premises and in the learning spaces. In other words, each ECD centre or partial care facility has to decide what’s going to work best for their situation so that everyone is protected.

All ECD staff are required to receive:

  • An in-depth orientation regarding the virus and ways they can help manage its spread
  • Training on how to welcome and support you and your returning child when they reopen
  • Training on how to engage with parents regarding healthy and preventative measures
  • An orientation on pre-opening cleaning measures.

Again, it’s the responsibility of the management of the ECD centre or partial care facility to ensure this is done.

All ECD centres and partial care facilities that intend to re-open will have to submit a comprehensive, pre-opening self-assessment form to their nearest district office in the next two weeks. Furthermore, they will have to be prepared for a spot check by the Department, or a representative they elect, at any time, to verify if they comply with minimum health, safety and social distancing measures.

According to the Department, if you decide to send your child back to an early development programme and\or partial care facility, they have to insist on a written note from you that you’re doing this voluntarily and at your own discretion as a parent or legal guardian.

You also need to know that your child will be subjected to daily symptom screening.

ALSO SEE: How to tell if my baby or toddler has COVID-19

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