Infection Control Policy

EYFS: 3.44, 3.45, 3.46

At Willow Den Scotland, we promote the good health and wellbeing of all children who attend our settings. We strive to maintain a high standard of hygiene ensuring a low risk of infection being spread. We follow the guidance “Infection Prevention and Control in Childcare Settings” by Health Protection Scotland1  alongside the Scottish Government guidance Coronavirus; (Covid 19) Early Learning and Childcare settings 2.  

On a regular basis, and particularly where there is a move between levels, we will review our implementation of the guidance, and ensure compliance with core and additional public health measures. 

Viruses and Infections can be spread easily from person to person by breathing in air that contains a virus (e.g. by coughing/sneezing). It can also be spread through direct contact from a person or surface contaminated by the virus.

To lower the risk of infection spreading staff will: 

  • Encourage all children to use tissues when coughing and sneezing. 
  • Ensure all tissues are disposed of in a hygienic way and all children and staff wash their hands once the tissue is disposed of. 
  • Develop children’s understanding of the above and the need for good hygiene procedures in helping them to stay healthy. 
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when changing nappies, toileting children and dealing with any other bodily fluids. Toilet boxes containing disposable aprons and gloves will be found in all changing stations, including the main toilet. Staff are requested to dispose of PPE in the appropriate manner and wash hands immediately. 
  • Clean and sterilise all changing mats/units/trainer seats before and after each use. Staff will use a BSEN1276 certified antibacterial spray in accordance with advice from Environmental Health Officer. 
  • Clean toilets at least daily and check them throughout the day. Touch points will be cleaned in accordance with 4.4 Cleaning of the Environment; Infection Prevention and control guidance. Staff are required to implement additional cleaning procedures in relation to Covid 19 restriction levels, staff must refer to the latest Scottish Government Covid 19 cleaning procedures These procedures can be found internally within our electronic Policy Directory, and at the nursery Operating Manual. 
  • Clean all toys, equipment and resources on a regular basis by following a comprehensive cleaning rota and using antibacterial cleanser, or thorough washing in the washing machine as per Appendix 10 Keeping toys and equipment clean; Infection Prevention and control guidance. Staff are required to implement additional cleaning procedures in relation to Covid 19 restriction levels, staff must refer to the latest Scottish Government Covid 19 cleaning procedures.  
  • Bedding will be laundered in accordance with 4.8 linen and laundry 
  • Ensure that bedding is washed at least weekly and when visibly dirty. Bedding should be allocated to a named child.  
  • Provide labelled individual bedding for children that is not used by any other child and wash this at least once a week. We will encourage parents to send in a blanket for a child if they require a rest or sleep as part of their own routine. Staff are required to implement additional cleaning procedures in relation to Covid 19 restriction levels, staff must refer to the latest Scottish Government Covid 19 cleaning procedures 
  • Follow the Sickness and Illness policy when children are ill to prevent the spread of any infection in the nursery. Staff are also requested to stay at home if they are contagious. Staff and children are required to follow the government guidance when displaying signs of Covid 19. Staff must check the latest guidance to ensure current procedures are followed.  

Sickness and Exclusion periods. 

If a child becomes unwell, the following points must be considered: 

  •  Any child who is unwell should not attend regardless of whether they have a confirmed infection. 
  • Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should be excluded until they have no symptoms for 48 hours following their last episode 
  • Children with unexplained rashes should be considered infectious until assessed by a doctor. 
  • Contact a member of the HPT if required for advice and always if an outbreak is expected. 

Exclusion Criteria is the recommended time to be kept away from any childcare setting if a child develops an infection. These exclusion periods are clearly set out in Infection Control in Childcare settings guidance3

The nursery manager reserves the right to refuse any child, parent, staff member or visitor who is contagious or poses a risk to the health and welfare of others. 

Outbreaks (including procedures for covid-19) 

Early warning signs of infection 

Staff will inform the Senior Practitioner or Operations Manager if a child has any of the following symptoms: 

  • appears unwell (feels hot or looks flushed); 
  • complains of feeling ill for example cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle 
  • aches and headaches; 
  • diarrhoea and/or vomiting; 
  • blood in their faeces; 
  • or unexplained rash. 

The child should be kept apart from other children with only one staff member attending to the child. Their parent/carer will then be asked to collect them as soon as possible. On collection the parent should be encouraged to consult their GP if the child’s symptoms persist or to obtain a PCR test for Covid-19 (if necessary). If more than one child within the setting displays these symptoms then advice will be sought from the local NHS Health Protection Team (HPT). 

Any infectious outbreaks will be reported to the Care Inspectorate in the first instance. We will then take appropriate measures from the Health Protection Team and appropriate government guidance. 

In the event of an outbreak, a deep cleaning of resources and equipment will take place immediately. 

Parents will be informed and where contagious outbreaks occur, we will adopt Government guidance for all visitors to minimise the risk of further spreading of the infection. 

Each specific circumstance will differ and to ensure we take the most appropriate action, we will treat each case on an individual basis 

Food Handling 

All staff members who handle food will complete the relevant Food safety Level course and be competent in food handling. 

Staff will make sure good hand hygiene and appropriate cleaning takes place before, during and after mealtimes.  

Water and hand hygiene 

At Willow Den Scotland, we keep up a very high standard of hygiene. Children and staff regularly wash their hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection. Staff will ensure hand washing stations are placed around the site for children to use freely. 

Willow Den staff will ensure they adhere to Health Protection Scotland SBAR (situation, background, assessment and recommendation): Hygiene Requirements in Outdoor Nurseries1 in Scotland. Staff will keep up to date on the latest government guidance on Covid-19 infection prevention. 

The wearing of wrist jewellery (including watches), false nails and nail products are not recommended for staff performing hand hygiene. 

At hand washing times, children will be supported to wash their hands thoroughly and for a full 20 seconds. Staff will embed this practice by using fun hand washing songs to encourage the children with this. Although support will be given during these times, children are encouraged to be as independent as possible.  

Hand wipes will be readily available if children go offsite with no access to running water. Once back on site, regular hand washing will resume. 

For hand washing stations, staff will provide: 

  • A water butt freshly filled with clean, warm water. 
  • Collection tank for greywater. 
  • Soap 
  • Paper towels. 
  • Waste bin to dispose of towels. 

Handwashing will take place: 

  • Before and after eating 
  • Before and after preparing food 
  • After using the toilet/nappy changes 
  • After handling animals 
  • After handling rubbish 
  • After sneezing or coughing into hands/tissue. Children are encouraged not to touch their face when appropriate and encouraged to use a tissue or the inside of their elbow when coughing/sneezing. 
  • After change or clothes 
  • After particularly messy play 
  • At regular intervals. 

Members of staff must ensure they wash their hands at regular intervals and especially: 

  • After using the toilet or changing a nappy 
  • Before and after handling food 
  • Before eating food 
  • After blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing 
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound 
  • After touching animals 
  • After break times 

In accordance with Infection prevention control in childcare settings, any staff member dealing with bodily fluid or hazardous substances should ensure they are wearing appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and are thoroughly washing their hands after handling and disposing of any hazardous substance. 

Hand sanitiser will also be available on site to use in addition to hand washing for staff and visitors. 

Disposal of Greywater 

Greywater refers to domestic wastewater (such as used hand washing water.) Greywater must be disposed of in a hygienic way to prevent the spread of infection. Staff will ensure that any greywater is collected in the collection bucket and poured away down a suitable drain or toilet. Greywater must be emptied at the end of each day and tanks sprayed with antibacterial spray. 

Greywater should not be reused, and staff should ensure children do not handle greywater. 

Waste management and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) 

Staff members will have access to appropriate PPE when dealing with bodily fluids or hazardous waste. PPE can consist of gloves, aprons, face masks and hats, all of which should be single use/disposable. PPE is important to protect yourself and others from the potential spread of infection. 

For safe waste management staff will: 

  • Ensure that that there are lined bins with a suitable lid in each of the areas where waste is produced. Small compost bags will be placed within each waste bin in pop-up toilet tent for use in the toilets. These will be disposed of within the allocated nappy bins in the car park each day.  
  • Soiled nappies will be double bagged and disposed in waste bin. 
  • Soiled clothes will be double bagged and put in children’s personal bag to go home for laundering. 
  • Ensure waste bins are never overfilled. 
  • Chemical toilets will be used in pop up toilet tent. This will be emptied down our main flushing toilets as per guidance from the environmental health officer. 
  • Have a schedule for emptying the bins at the end of the day, and during the day if needed. 
  • Keep the main waste bin in a secure area away from play areas (ensure animals cannot get into this area). 
  • All bins should be cleaned according to the specified cleaning schedule. 
  • When collecting waste and emptying bins, wear appropriate PPE. 
  • When you are finished, remove PPE, and dispose of immediately in appropriate disposal unit, and wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with liquid soap and running water.