Maximising use of outdoor spaces
Evidence suggests that outdoor environments can limit transmission, as well as more easily allowing for appropriate physical distancing between staff and between groups of children. Staff should consider how they can safely maximise the use of their outdoor space.
Where school age childcare services have access to an outdoor area or garden, they should try to use this space as much as possible during each session. If outdoor equipment is being used, settings should aim to ensure that multiple groups of children do not use it simultaneously, as well as considering appropriate cleaning between groups of children using it.
Staff should liaise with parents to take the necessary precautions to protect children from the elements and this should include suitable clothing for the weather, head coverings and sunscreen when appropriate in summer and suitable outer clothing to allow outdoor play in winter. Advice on sun safety is also available from the NHS.
Using outdoor spaces extensively during sessions may allow for more children to access the service, provided this is in line with staffing ratios and Care Inspectorate registration capabilities. Staff should therefore consider how they can safely maximise the use of outdoor spaces. Staff should plan for children to enjoy active energetic play across each session and this may include making use of other outdoor areas near to the service. Within any public spaces staff should be aware at all times of the need to keep children distanced from any other children who are not part of the setting, and / or other adults who may be in the vicinity. Children should not share outdoor clothes or footwear.
Guidance to promote high quality learning and play experiences for children outdoors is available here.
Guidance on organised outdoor sport for children and young people should also be considered when planning and preparing for physical activity and sport.
Guidance on school trips and visits was published on 14 August.
Singing, music and drama
Advice from the advisory subgroup for education and children’s issues shows that there are increased transmission risks associated with singing, music and drama. When considering planning such activities, providers should carefully consider this advice, and advice from Education Scotland on these activities. School guidance has further information on singing, music and drama.