The safety and health of our Class Leaders and Families has always been of utmost importance to us, and this is even more the case in the current environment.
We have developed a bespoke Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense COVID-19 Management and Safety Plan which contains our policies, processes and approaches to operating Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense classes in the COVID-19 environment, with a particular focus on how we can keep our Class Leaders and Customers safe.
A summary of the main aspects of our Management and Safety Plan is set out below.
Please note, these aspects will be implemented by each Baby Sensory Class Leader on a case-by-case basis dependent on the current advice and restrictions in place in their class location at the specific time -
Class numbers will be adjusted to ensure that our classes remain in line with current government guidelines on social distancing.
It is anticipated that social distancing requirements will change over the coming weeks and months and these will be reflected in changing maximum class numbers in our Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense sessions.
The maximum class numbers may also vary from class venue to class venue, depending on the venue’s size and the social distancing requirements required at the time.
Visitors to class
During this period, to enable us to manage class numbers and ensure social distancing requirements are met, we ask that only one adult accompany their child to a Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense class.
If more than one adult arrives per child, we will be asking them either leave or wait outside for the duration of the class.
Arriving at your class
In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines and requirements we have developed new processes and procedures for families to follow when arriving at or leaving their Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense class. The purpose of these changes is so that opportunities for parents and children to gather in groups are minimised, especially in foyers and outside venues.
Signing into classes
Sign in sheets will be provided at the entrance to every class and we ask all parents or carers to sign in with their name, baby’s name and contact phone number. This will assist the class leader with record keeping and allow them to easily see exactly who has attended their classes.
Often the adult who accompanies a child to class may not be the adult who made the booking or who is listed on the register and we need to keep a record of everyone who has been in each class.
Pens will be provided but if you prefer please bring your own pen with you to complete the sign in sheets.
Prior to signing in all adults will be required to either wash their hands or use hand sanitiser. We also request that if parents are using the pens provided they also sanitise their hands after signing in.
Washing or sanitising hands before your class
Hand sanitiser will be provided at the entrance to your class for you to use. Please use hand sanitiser before and after signing in on the sign in sheet.
Where possible, please can you also use hand sanitiser on your toddler’s hands or take them to the bathroom to wash their hands with the soap and water provided.
There is no requirement to wash the hands of babies.
Leaving your class
To assist with social distancing, especially at the busier time between classes when one set of families are leaving while the next is arriving, we respectfully request that families leave promptly after the end of their sessions.
If it is possible at your class venue, the class leader may be able to facilitate this by using separate entrance and exit points which will be clearly marked.
We also recommend that you wash or sanitise you hands as you leave your class.
Customers and visitors are required to wash or sanitise their hands at the following times –
- before each class and after each class
- after using the toilet or changing a nappy
- after coughing or sneezing
- before and after eating and drinking
Maintaining social distance during classes
Class leaders are ultimately responsible for ensuring that families adhere to social distancing guidelines while they are in our classes and venues.
With mobile babies and toddlers it may be hard at times to maintain adequate social distance, but we ask for parents help and co-operation to try and ensure distance is maintained as far as possible between children.
In relation to maintaining social distance between adults, we respectfully ask that all parents are mindful of social distancing requirements and adhere to any minimum social distancing guidelines before, during and after Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense classes.
Minimising person to person contact
As far as possible, class leaders will be minimising physical contact with parents and children.
Cuddling of children and toddlers
It is common after or during a class for older babies and toddlers to come to the class leader for a cuddle. These will be avoided as far as possible, without offending the child or parent.
Welcoming families to class
High fives, hugs and handshakes will be avoided. Instead class leaders may wave a ‘Hello’ to families.
Adaptations to activities which involve physical contact between children or participants
These will be temporarily adapted to minimise physical contact
For example, rather than holding hands as a group (for example in the ‘’How do you do?’’ song in Toddler Sense) if we need to hold hands, the parent will hold their child’s hands or the child will hold the hands of their Tod toy.
Class leaders will adapt activities to ensure physical contact during activities and within the session is limited to within family units as much as possible.
Adaptations to the layout of Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense classes will be taken as required with consideration to the social distancing guidelines and requirements which are required at the time.
These adaptations will be temporary in nature in order to comply with guidelines in force and applicable during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery phase.
Specific classroom layouts may vary between class location and venue depending on the characteristics and size of each venue and the local restrictions and guidelines currently in place in respect of the class location.
Handing out equipment
As class leaders move through the COVID-19 recovery phase they may need to be adaptations to how equipment is handled and distributed in class. These decisions will be taken at a local level on a class-by-class basis by individual class leaders.
Maintaining airflow in the environment
If possible, windows will be opened or air-conditioning adjusted for more ventilation in the room in which the Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense session is being run.
The class leader will try to limit or reduce recirculated air-conditioning where possible.
Timetable changes to allow more time between classes
To help manage the changeover of customers between classes, and to provide extra time between classes for the cleaning of equipment, class timetables have in some cases may have been temporarily adjusted to increase the amount of time between sessions.
Hands should be washed or sanitised prior to eating or drinking.
Due to the risk of allergies all food and drink should be consumed away from equipment, the sensory area, exploratory play area or adventure play area.
Any food or drink spills should be cleaned up immediately and the sharing of food should be actively discouraged, especially between children.
Shoes and other footwear
Shoes must be removed by all customers and class leaders upon entry into the class. Socks should be worn by all class leaders and adult customers if possible. Babies are not required to wear socks.
Toddlers will ideally remove their socks for safety reasons e.g. increased grip during the adventure play portion of the session.
Shoes should be worn when going to the toilet or outside between classes.
When changing nappies please do so at the provided changing areas. Your class leader will provide a designated nappy changing area within the classroom, and there may also be changing facilities available in the venue’s toilet area.
Class leaders will provide a changing mat but we request customers to please also use your own changing mat over the top of this.
When you have finished changing your child’s nappy please can you place the soiled nappy into a bag and tie to close. To prevent the spread of infection we politely ask that you take all soiled nappies away with you to dispose at home.
Please can you wipe the changing mat down with an anti-bacterial wipe which will be provided next to the changing mat area, and ensure you also either wash your hands or use the provided hand sanitiser after changing your child’s nappy.
Between classes and at the end of each day the class leader will wipe the change area down with an anti-bacterial wipe.
Using the toilet with toddlers
We appreciate that some of our Toddlers may be toilet training.
If you need to use the toilet with your toddler during a class, please can you ensure both you and your toddler wash your hands thoroughly (or use hand sanitiser) before returning to the class.
If your toddler has an accident during class, please can you let our class leaders know so that we can safely and quickly clean up any soiled areas as required.
Vomiting and milk spills
It is very common for babies to bring up some milk after a feed. If your baby spills or spits up, please can you let the class leader know so they can undertake necessary cleaning of the area, and remove any soiled equipment for cleaning.
Similarly, if your baby or toddler vomits during a class please can you let your class leader know as soon as possible so they can ensure prompt cleaning and isolation of the area to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
Administering First aid
Standard precautions will be adopted when providing first aid, e.g. gloves need to be worn when dealing with blood or body fluids/substances.
Always wash hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after providing first aid.
Additional PPE (e.g. face masks) is not required to provide standard first aid on children or staff who appear to be well.
In class signage
Posters will be displayed to inform, educate and encourage both class leaders and families to practice good hygiene when at Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense classes.
The following signage may be displayed -
- Physical distancing reminders
- How to Hand wash
- Using hand sanitiser
- Reminder of wellness requirements to attend classes
- Arrival procedures – hand sanitiser before and after signing in
- Nappy changing rules
- Reminder to remove shoes
Customers who are unwell in any way must not attend a Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense class.
In addition, families must not attend a Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense class if any of the following scenarios apply -
- if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
- a sore throat
- fatigue, and
- shortness of breath.
- if they have been, or have potentially been, exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 (even if the person who is suspected to have COVID-19 has not yet been tested), or
If customers have undertaken, or are planning to undertake, any travel then they must consider and adhere to any currently imposed restrictions and guidelines around social distancing and self-isolation which may apply to them upon their return home, and prior to attending Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense classes.
Terms, conditions and policies in respect of missed classes and makeup classes are available from your local class leader. Should a class leader be unwell, classes will be cancelled or rescheduled.
There is no evidence or guidance from the Government or Health Department to support temperature screening as an effective strategy at this time.
Therefore, we have made the decision not to monitor the health of class leaders, parents and children by administering mandatory temperature checks.
Instead we are focussing on implementing known controls, such as good hygiene measures, physical distancing and cleaning in our classes rather than only relying on temperature checks. We also request that all parents do not attend classes if either themselves or their child are unwell.
Cleaning being undertaken by class leader
To minimise the risk of any potential cross-contamination, thorough cleaning of all equipment and props will be undertaken by class leaders as appropriate, before, during and after classes in line with Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense’s COVID-19 Management and Safety Plan.
If you would like more information on these please ask your class leader for access to a copy of the Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense’s COVID-19 Management and Safety Plan where cleaning procedures are outlined in more details.
If you have any questions in respect of the information above please do not hesitate to contact your local Baby Sensory or Toddler Sense Class Leader.