Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reopening early learning and childcare services

Non-statutory guidance for early learning and childcare (ELC) providers in the local authority, private and third sectors to support a safe reopening of these settings during Phase 3.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reopening early learning and childcare services
Movement in settings

Moving within and between settings

Some approaches to circulation of children and staff and transitions between different parts of the settings providers can consider include:

  • One-way systems: settings may wish to adopt one-way systems within corridors and stairs. This may help avoid bottlenecks and ease travel around the setting.
  • ​​​​​​​External circulation: as part oqf an amended circulation strategy it may be beneficial to encourage the use of external areas to move between parts of the building. This would reduce the density of use of the internal areas and also provide some movement and fresh air. Appropriate solutions would be specific to each location. Safety in all weathers and security issues would require to be considered in each location.
  • ​​​​​​​Signage/communication: appropriate signage or verbal communication about the system adopted may need to be implemented, if it differs from previous arrangements at the setting, for the benefit of staff and parents.
  • Peripatetic Staffing: movement of staff between different ELC settings should be avoided, except in circumstances where the individual works with the same group of children, or where necessary to provide specialist support, for example for children with additional support needs.​​​​​​​
  • Use of agency or bank staff: where settings use agency or bank staff they should ensure that staff do not move between settings where possible.

It is recognised that the above restrictions on movement of staff between settings may impact on the ability of some practitioners to continue with the patterns of work they would have chosen prior to the Covid-19 response period.  Where this is the case, employers/heads of centres should undertake early engagement with staff who will be affected, and unions where appropriate.

First published: 30 Jul 2020 Last updated: 30 Jul 2020 -