Covid 19 Safe Operating Procedures (Willow Den at Spartans Community Football Academy)

These Procedures reflect the current operating requirements for Early Learning and Childcare settings issued by the Scottish Government. The guidance changes frequently as Covid restrictions change, the procedures will also change to ensure we meet the latest guidance. Some changes may come into place pending new guidance.  

We appreciate it can be difficult to keep up with the changes, we will notify parents and staff of any significant updates by email and regular updates. To ensure we are doing everything we can to keep children, families and staff safe, we ask for your full cooperation in helping us to comply within the relevant guidance. 

Please get in touch if you need assistance in navigating the procedures. We appreciate there is a lot of information, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can talk to the staff at the nursery, or you can email the nursery manager or, our Administrator on for assistance.  

Current Covid Level 

These procedures are in line with Level 0 guidance, and we will implement an enhanced cleaning schedule at the nursery if the Levels increase at any point. 


1 Why we need these procedures in place 

2 How we will manage attendance through the pandemic 

  • Drop off and pick up 
  • Monitoring symptoms  
  • Travel to and from the nursery 

3 Physical distancing  

  • Tentipi 
  • Dug outs 
  • Main Spartans Community Football Academy buildings 

4 Hygiene and safety 

  • General hygiene at the nursery 
  • Handwashing 
  • Clothing 
  • Cleaning 
  • Risk assessment 
  • Bringing items in from home 
  • Food and drink

5 Visitors and meetings 

  • Settling in visits and pre start visits 
  • Welcome visits 
  • Parent/staff meetings and communication 

6 How we will manage if a person displays symptoms whilst at the setting 

  • Managing a child who is displaying symptoms 
  • Managing a staff member displaying symptoms 
  • Notifications of confirmed or suspected Covid 19 
  • Split/blended placements 
  • PPE  
  • Test and protect 
  • Potential short notice closure 

7 Fees and notice periods 

8 Useful links to support families and staff with the pandemic. 

9 Appendices 

1) Why we need these procedures in place at Willow Den at Spartans  

The following measures are aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. These procedures reflect the requirements required by the Scottish Government.  

There are two ways in which COVID-19 can be spread:  

Directly; from close contact with an infected person (within 2 metres) where respiratory secretions can enter the eyes, mouth, nose or airways. This risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.  

Indirectly; by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching own mouth, nose, or eyes.  

The fundamental principle of this guidance is to ensure appropriate distancing between identified groups and to implement enhanced hygiene practices. Willow Den Spartans Community Football Academy is a fully outdoor nursery which greatly assists our ability to create physical distance between identified groups. It has been identified that spending time in outdoor environments reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.  

The Scottish Government have a lot of useful resources and information for parents on their website (  

2) How we will manage attendance through the pandemic 

In order to ensure all parents/carers are fully aware of the measures we have in place to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, and the responsibilities we are asking of them during this time, we are asking everyone to read, accept and sign our COVID-19 Terms and Conditions (Appendix A) 

Measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19: 

  • Anyone who is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms must not attend nursery and must immediately self-isolate and book a test (as per NHS Inform, 2020).  
  • Please inform the nursery at this stage. 
  • If your asymptomatic child is 5 or over and is identified as a close contact who lives in a household with a positive case OR has been identified by Test and Protect as needing to take action, then they should self-isolate and book a PCR test. 
  • If your asymptomatic child is 5 or under* and is identified as a close contact then they will not need to self-isolate if they remain without symptoms. This reflects the lower risk of transmission from very young children, as well as the challenges in tolerating testing that some very young children may experience. 
  • If your child’s PCR test is negative and they remain without symptoms, they can end self-isolation and return to nursery. 
  • If your child’s PCR test is positive, they should continue to self-isolate in line with NHS guidance. 
  • If your child subsequently becomes symptomatic, they should self-isolate and book a PCR test. 

*Although a PCR test for children under 5 is not required before returning to nursery, it is encouraged (see ScotGov Test & Protect, 2021). Having said this, it is unlikely that it would be possible or prudent for such a child to be brought to and from nursery if their parent/carers are required to self-isolate. 

Monitoring symptoms  

Although young children sometimes don’t show symptoms when they have the virus, it is still important to monitor their health particularly at this time. Symptoms to look out for in children, families and staff are:  

A new continuous cough (i.e. coughing for longer than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) OR  

A high temperature or fever (37.8C or higher) OR  

A loss or change in sense of taste or smell.  

(Taken from: NHS Inform, 2021) 

Children displaying any of these symptoms should not attend nursery. We will carefully monitor the children and staff for any of these symptoms and act accordingly.  

Drop off and pick up 

  • In line with Scottish guidelines, Parents are asked to wear a face covering when dropping off and picking up their child from nursery. 
  • Hand washing stations will be set up at the main gate for children to use when entering and leaving the site. 
  • Parents are asked to bring their own hand sanitiser and take responsibility for their own hand hygiene, although we will provide a bottle at the main entrance to the nursery for anyone who wishes to use it. 
  • Please maintain physical distancing by standing at least 2 metres apart from other households at all times 
  • Parents/carers should enter the site via Willow Den’s main gate beside the car park. 
  • To avoid bottlenecks at drop off and pick up, please follow the one-way system and physical distancing markers at the main gate.  
  • We ask parents not to gather in a group at this time to avoid coming into close contact with other households. 
  • We are aware that we may need to support children at drop offs and we will strive to offer a warm, caring, and supportive approach to the children and to yourselves, whilst ensuring we are keeping to the guidelines as much as we can. 

Travel to and from the nursery 

  • Wherever possible team members and families should travel to the nursery alone, using their own transport or by foot or bicycle.  
  • Car sharing with children of other households should be discouraged. If it is necessary to share transport, journeys should be taken with the same individuals with the minimum number of people at one time.  
  • If public transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed (Transport Scotland, 2020). Face coverings are required on public transport to help protect others. 
3) Physical distancing  


The tentipi will only be used for essential purposes. In those instances, such as wet or windy weather days, we will endeavour to use all the vents in the tentipi and will open the door whenever we can. We may have to close the door on particularly inclement days. This essential use will be minimized to our lunch and snack periods and where children need a rest throughout the day.  


Our dugouts are another shelter at our base in the nursery. These will be mainly used as a place for dining in and as such they will not be in constant use. We may find we want to use the space at other points in the day for an occasional story or activity, but again we will ensure maximum ventilation and minimize time spent as a group in here.  

Main Spartans Community Football Academy buildings 

In the event of an emergency, we will use the main Spartans Community Football Academy building and gather in a group in the upstairs meeting room or their education building. Parents will always be informed where we are. Whilst in the main/education building we will adhere to Spartans Community Football Academy Covid risk assessment guidelines. 

Staff may use some of the Spartans Community Football Academy buildings for essential purposes such as collection of handwash water and meals for the children. 

During these times, staff will: 

  • Adhere to Spartans Community Football Academy Covid procedures whilst in the building.  
  • Wear masks at all times whilst moving around the building.  
  • Ensure they have fully washed their hands for 20 seconds with running water and soap as per Covid guidelines, before returning to the group. 
4) Hygiene and safety 

Good hygiene and cleaning practices significantly reduce the spread and transmission of the Coronavirus. It is appreciated if families reinforce the hand hygiene and sneezing/coughing/runny nose etiquette in the home environment.  

General hygiene at the nursery 

  • Staff will regularly remind children that when they sneeze and/or cough or have a runny nose, it’s best to CATCH IT in a tissue (or crook of elbow if necessary), BIN the tissue immediately, and then wash hands to stop any spread of the virus.  
  • Staff will ensure that the group always has adequate supplies of tissues and hand sanitiser with them.  
  • Waste bins will be situated at each handwash station and there are several wheelie bins located around the Spartans Community Football Academy grounds plus a main bin facility next to the main sports pitch. There is also a dedicated bin in the main toilet for the children to use.  


Handwashing stations will be set up around the site daily. 

  • One will always be set up at the main gate for children to use upon arrival and departure from nursery 
  • Another portable station at the garden and mud kitchen areas. 

If we plan any off-site adventures, we will ensure we have a portable handwash station with us at all times, with clean running water, hand soap and paper towels for handwashing needs. We will carry additional handwash wipes as an extra precaution whilst away from the nursery. 


In line with infection prevention and control guidance it is best practice: 

  • For children to bring their own clothes for the day, including spares as per our kit list in the parent handbook. 
  • To remove your child’s outer layer before travelling home and then change out of all Willow Den Spartans Community Football Academy clothing as soon as your child returns home from a day at nursery.  
  • Clothing worn at nursery should be washed more regularly, ideally after each use. Washing with detergent in a normal wash is effective at reducing the risk of transmission 

Clothing worn at nursery should be washed more regularly, ideally after each use. Washing with detergent in a normal wash is effective at reducing the risk of transmission. We are of course aware that washing waterproofs too frequently will damage their waterproof effectiveness (remember to ideally wash with an appropriate re-proofer). So, if you do not wish to wash waterproofs weekly, we suggest that waterproof jackets and trousers are hung up to dry in an area away from regular use (e.g. a garden shed or outside in the sunshine) and then stored dry in a sealed bag and left until used the following day/week.  

Children should bring their own clothes for the day, including spares as per our kit list in the parent handbook. As it is not recommended that clothing be shared at this time, please ensure your child has extra spares in case of accidents and layers to pop on or take off when they get too hot or cold. We have a box of washed spare clothes in case of emergencies, however these are limited. If your child comes home with our spare clothes, these should be washed before returning to us.  


As per Scottish Government’s Covid 19 Early Learning and Childcare Guidance, we will ensure that all relevant children’s resources are cleaned daily after each day’s session (or more frequently when guidance requires).  Any items brought out for use by the children or staff (for example books or tools) will be cleaned before they are restored to the resource areas at the end of the day. There are times when restrictions request children limit the number of items brought from home, we will keep parents updated.  

Toilets (pop up and container toilets) will be regularly cleaned down throughout the day (minimum twice a day) and any touch points such as door handles and taps, soap dispensers, drinking water taps, wheelbarrow handles, will be wiped regularly throughout the day.  

We will use a BSEN1276 certified antibacterial spray as per our infection control procedures and disposable blue roll.   

Risk assessment 

There is a full Covid 19 Risk assessment for Willow Den Spartans Community Football Academy, which makes sure that any activity or action that may increase the risk of transmission is changed or removed entirely. 

Bringing items in from home 

COVID Alert Level 0 & 1 – children are able to bring items from home to nursery. 

However, we would remind parents that we generally advise to avoid this (if possible) as toys can often become objects of desire and possession at the nursery, often ending up getting lost. A notebook and pencil or a favourite book to share are items which can be more easily and harmoniously used by the children. We want to emphasise to families the importance of good hand hygiene when handling resources that are shared with/by the setting. 

COVID Alert Level 2, 3 & 4 children are asked not to bring items in from home/other settings with the exception of agreed items in line with additional support plans or settling in/transition comforters. 

There must be no sharing of resources if there is a positive case in the home or an outbreak in the setting. Should there be an outbreak in the setting we will be in touch with families immediately.  


We have arranged that Spartans Community Football Academy FC will be providing the children with a hot lunch and a snack whilst at the nursery. Spartans Community Football Academy FC follows a strict set of guidelines as per Covid 19 regulations and all kitchen staff will adhere to these safe procedures whilst preparing food for the nursery. Spartans Community Football Academy FC has a full set of risk assessments for the site and control measures are in place to ensure that the spread of the virus is minimized as much as possible whilst preparing food. These can be available upon request.  

Drinking water 

It is important that the children have drinking water accessible to them throughout the day. We ask that each child brings in their own water bottle from home, clearly labelled with the child’s name. Bottles will be stored in their personal bags throughout the day and topped up from a drinking water tap on site if necessary. 

Children will be provided with a drink of water at lunchtime from the kitchen in clean cups which will be used by individual children at their meal.  

5) Visitors and meetings 

Level 0 guidance for visitors to the setting – After dropping off children at the main gate, attendance in the nursery should be restricted to children and the staff team as far as practically possible. Although we will be minimising general visitors to the setting (and seeking to carry out any such interactions through remote means wherever possible), we will be able to accommodate our settling in visits for new children.  

We are aware there may be visitors to the Spartans Community Football Academy FC when we will be using the site and will ensure that we follow guidelines of social distancing and will not directly share our spaces/resources with Spartan FC visitors.  

Settling in/Welcome visits  

Parents are welcome at the nursery for the purpose of settling in sessions. Parents should maintain physical distancing with other children and staff members and adhere to the COVID-19 safe operating procedures. Any new families will be contacted directly regarding welcome/settling in visits and supporting their child with the settle in process. Some Covid 19 restriction levels do not allow parents to enter the nursery, settling in processes will change to reflect this. Our team will do everything possible to help make transitions to and from nursery as positive as possible.  

Parent/staff meetings and communication 

Parent/key worker meetings can be held where physical distancing rules can be observed in full or will be organised through remote means. We ask that face covering be worn if possible, during face-to-face meetings.  

During periods where restrictions are at Level 1 or above, or where no outdoor meetings are able to take place, meetings to discuss children and parents evenings will be held online. 

At Level 0 specialist visitors to the setting, such as members of the Care Inspectorate, LA ELC quality improvement team and specialist support staff, can be carried out as normal. These visits are arranged with the manager in advance and are included in the Covid Risk assessment.  

6) How we will manage if a person displays symptoms whilst at the setting 

Managing a child who is displaying symptoms 

In the event of a child developing suspected Coronavirus symptoms whilst attending the nursery, they should be collected as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with the NHS guidance. Whilst waiting for a parent/carer to collect the child, they will be isolated from others in an identified well-ventilated area (not the tentipi or dugouts). A staff member will be with them and care for them on a 1:1 basis until parent/carer arrives. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be available for the staff member. If the child becomes very unwell, it may be necessary for staff to call 111 or 999. Normal procedures on child illness will be observed. Targeted and enhanced cleaning will then take place in the areas of the nursery the child had accessed.  

Managing a staff member displaying symptoms 

In the event of a staff member/volunteer developing coronavirus symptoms whilst attending nursery, they should leave the nursery as soon as possible and isolate at home in line with NHS guidance. If they are unable to travel alone, they should wait in an identified area away from the rest of the group (not the tentipi or dugouts). Necessary targeted and enhanced cleaning will then take place in the areas of the nursery the team member has accessed. 

Notifications of confirmed or suspected Covid 19 

We expect the sharing of information to flow both ways (between nursery and families) to ensure minimal risk of further spreading the virus. Therefore, any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in our nursery community households must be immediately reported to:  

•  Nursery Manager, Amy McGlinchey on 07983 526953 or or: 

•  CEO, Deborah Grant, on 07983526934 or 

If we are notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the nursery community (staff, children, and families) we will inform parents as soon as possible. A positive case may then trigger action into the Government’s Test and Protect scheme which is detailed below. If a positive result is confirmed then it may require the rest of that child/staff member’s group to isolate for the recommended period or the nursery closing temporarily and with short notice.  

Throughout all necessary communication we shall maintain our confidentiality policy and share only what is required and follow the ‘Warn and Inform’ guidance.  

We recommend that all families download the Scottish Governments ‘Protect Scotland’ App to support with controlling the spread of the virus. 

Split/blended placements 

The Government have advised that it remains very important to continue to minimise the number of contacts and risk of transmission, and that the risk of transmission is lower outdoors and so blended placements need not be restricted when they involve a fully outdoor setting, provided the blended arrangement involves no more than two settings. Apart from in Level 0, other blended placements are permitted only where they ensure access to high quality childcare and meet childcare need. 

The use of blended placements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis at Willow Den and will be supported by a refreshed risk assessment in collaboration with parents and all providers involved in the care of the child. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Willow Den community, then we will inform these partner settings also. We ask these partner settings to tell us of any confirmed cases as soon as practicably possible. 

If your circumstances change and you intend for your child to also attend another nursery then you must notify us immediately of any Covid outbreaks. 

 Collaborative risk assessments are required to be carried out in advance of your child starting at another setting. 

Where a setting has two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 14 days and a plausible transmission link between two or more cases is identified within the setting, this is indicative of an ‘outbreak’; if not it is referred to as a ‘cluster’. The outbreak will be ‘closed’ by the local health protection team. The decision about which one setting the child should attend while the blended placement is suspended should be made in discussion with the family and the settings involved. Families will continue to be liable for their usual fees where their child selects their other setting in these circumstances. 

If there is an outbreak within a setting that the child attends, ALL blended placements must be suspended. 

More detail can be found here.

PPE Equipment  

Government guidance is that PPE is not required for staff general use in nurseries to protect against COVID-19 transmission. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are the most effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Appropriate PPE will continue to be worn as normal for nappy changing and the administration of first aid. However, if a suspected COVID-19 case is detected on site, staff will wear increased PPE for their own protection while supporting the child and for subsequent enhanced cleaning.  

In cases of suspected COVID-19, the following use of PPE may be considered: 

  • A fluid-resistant surgical mask if 2 metre physical distancing cannot be maintained.  
  • Where the child needs direct personal care, gloves and aprons, fluid-resistant surgical mask and eye protection (goggles or a visor) should be worn by staff. 
  • Gloves and aprons should be used when cleaning the areas where the child has been. 

Where the use of PPE is risk assessed as being required, staff should be trained in how to put on and take off PPE (as required by Health and Safety Regulations), and suitable waste facilities provided. 

As an additional precautionary measure staff will also have a non-touch thermometer to monitor whether staff or children have a temperature throughout the day should anyone begin to seem unwell.  

It is a requirement for adults to wear face coverings when not working with children and when in contact with other adults (for example when delivering a conversation with a parent/carer or at handover times in the morning/afternoon). Face coverings must be worn covering the nose and mouth and safely stored and cleaned as per APPENDIX B. All parents/carers must wear face coverings when dropping and picking up their child/ren from nursery. 

Test and protect 

As from 28th May 2020, the Scottish Government has introduced “Test and Protect”.  

“Staff and children who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must follow the Test and Protect guidance, which includes staying at home, self-isolating, and contacting the NHS for advice on testing.” (taken from: Scottish Government, 2020) 

Potential short notice closure 

There is the potential that short notice closure may happen if several key staff have to isolate as they become symptomatic or unwell with the virus. We will endeavour to let parents/carers know as soon as we can, this may even be on the day of closure.  

The Manager or administration will inform parents/carers via text message. We will follow up with a call if we do not receive a response.  

Contact number 

Willow Den at Spartans Mobile number is 07398 625491 

Further information will be sent by email to inform parents/carers more fully of any closure and whether we will be able to operate on a reduced capacity (reduced days/hours).

7) Fees and notice periods 

See Parent contract for our terms and conditions.  

8)  Useful links to support families and staff with the pandemic 

Education Scotland, Realising the Ambition: Being Me, 

NHS, inform (2021) , 

The Scottish Government, Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested in Scotland, 2021, 

The Scottish government, Covid testing for under 5s, 

Health Protection Scotland, Guidance for non-healthcare settings, 

Scottish Parliament 2020, Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, 

Scottish Government 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Services. 

Scottish Government (2020) Parent Club, Topics Coronavirus, 

Transport Scotland, Advice on how to travel safely, 

Appendix A 

COVID-19 Terms & Conditions  

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we need to ensure that all parents/carers have read and fully understood the nursery’s COVID-19 Procedures.  

To ensure the safety for all members of the Willow Den community we ask that parents/carers to please read and sign in agreement with the following statements.  

I acknowledge the responsibilities expected of me as a parent/carer, including:  

  • I have read, understood, and accept all the procedures laid out in the COVID-19 Procedures.  
  • I understand and accept that these will be reviewed regularly  
  • If my child attends another setting, I must inform Willow Den staff immediately. This is so the necessary risk assessments can be put in place.  
  • I accept that my child will not attend Willow Den at Spartans until this process has been completed.   
  • If there is an outbreak within the cohort arrangement in any other nursery that your child attends, I acknowledge that, in accordance with the latest COVID-19 Guidance, the local health protection team may require that ALL blended placements are suspended to reduce risk of further spread. This is because blended placements are still identified as being a higher risk for spreading COVID-19. For example, this may mean that’s the child’s placement has to stop when the outbreak is not in either of their settings.  
  • The decision about which one setting my child should attend while the blended placement is suspended will be made in discussion with the settings involved. 
  • I acknowledge that if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within my household then Willow Den at Spartans will notify the rest of the Willow Den Spartans Community Football Academy community, adhering to the nursery’s confidentiality policy.  
  •  I acknowledge that Willow Den at Spartans has taken necessary steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering and spreading in the nursery, however I accept that there will continue to be a risk of infection in any environment at this time.  



Name/s of children:_______________________________________ 


Appendix B 

Wearing Face coverings, advice for staff, parents/carers. 

The following clear instructions must be provided to all families and staff on how to put on, remove, store and dispose of face coverings, to avoid inadvertently increasing the risks of transmission.  

The key points are as follows:  

• Face coverings should not be shared with others.  

• Before putting on or removing the face covering, hands should be cleaned by washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser.  

• Make sure the face covering is the right size to cover the nose, mouth and chin.  

• When temporarily storing a face covering (e.g. during sessions), it should be placed in a washable, sealed bag or container. Avoid placing it on surfaces, due to the possibility of contamination.  

• Re-usable face coverings should be washed after each day of use at 60 degrees centigrade or in boiling water.  

• Disposable face coverings must be disposed of safely and hygienically. They are not considered to be clinical waste in the same way that used PPE may be.  

• See: further general advice on face coverings and also COVID-19 wearing facemask in public.