The Department of Social Development (DSD) has released Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that every ECD or partial care facility needs to follow.
Here are some of the key things to know:
- Sending your child back to school is voluntary and a decision that should be made based on your individual circumstances.
- No child that has attended an ECD programme during the month the national state of disaster was announced (March 2020) may be refused re-admission to the ECD programme.
- If your child has underlying health issues (some examples are: children who have diabetes, heart disease, asthma, TB, cancer, kidney disease, and cerebral palsy) that put them at higher risk, you will need to get a doctor’s letter that states that it is safe for your child to return to school, before they will be allowed to return to school.
- You have the right to know what measures have been put in place to address and prevent the spread of COVID-19, before re-opening and in the day to day operations of the ECD programme going forward. Ask the ECD programme your child attends to give you this information.
- A parent, legal guardian or designated adult will need to take your child to school every morning for the screening purposes. Your child’s temperature will be taken and you will have to answer a few questions related to COVID-19 symptoms each morning.
- If a child arrives without a person as described above and/or without any information that will help with symptom screening, that child may not be refused entry to the ECD programme and the procedure as set out in the standard operating procedures needs to be applied.
Here is a checklist of things you can ask the ECD programme as you prepare for the return of your child to their ECD programme. These questions are designed to make sure that the ECD programme is following the Standard Operating Procedures as set out by the Department of Social Development.
- Have you informed all parents of the information as written above regarding the return of children to ECD or partial care facilities?
- Have you provided all parents with a date and time when children may return to the ECD programme?
- What measures have you taken to address and prevent the spread of COVID-19 before re-opening? Examples: has the premises and equipment been cleaned prior to opening?
- What measures are in place to address and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on a day to day basis at the ECD centre – example: will the premises and equipment be cleaned on a daily basis?
- Have the staff all received training on the measures to address and prevent COVID-19?
- Do you have my contact details on record should my child become ill?
- What procedures are in place to manage access to the grounds?
- What are the procedures in place for when a child or staff member gets sick or shows symptoms that are linked to COVID-19?
- Are there suitable facilities to isolate and care for a child that falls sick during the day?
- How should I prepare my child for when they return to the ECD programme?
- Will you be doing symptom screening and temperate checks daily, as required by DSD?
- What are the requirements around wearing a mask, for both children and staff? Please see this page and this page for more information on mask wearing for children.
- How will physical distancing be put into place?
- Children under the age of 6 do not need to wear masks or shields whilst at school. Children over two must wear a mask when travelling to and from school. If you wish to send your child to school with a mask we would suggest that you send at least 6 masks as your child will need to change the mask every time s/he has to take off the mask to eat or blow their nose.