First5 Guidance – Updated Information for Parents

This section provides helpful information and guidance on children in settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children have rarely been the person who brought COVID-19 into a household when household spread has happened. Children seem more likely than adults to have no symptoms or to have mild disease. Symptoms in children include cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhoea and vomiting. It is important for parents and for those who deliver early learning and care and school-age childcare to accept that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of the virus. However public health advice is that reopening is appropriate.
  • FAQs for Parents- 2nd Feb 2021 [Download Here]
  • ELC and SAC setting advice for Parents, [Download here].
  • If your child does not feel well.If your child has symptoms of viral respiratory disease, even if they are mild, they must not attend a childcare setting. Likewise parents who have respiratory symptoms must not take their child to a setting or pick them up. Parents must not take their child to a childcare setting if a parent or anyone else in your home is suspected of having or known to have Covid-19. If your child becomes ill while attending a childcare setting, you must collect them as quickly as possible, contact your GP straight away and follow HSE advice
  • Parents may be asked to complete a declaration.Parents may be asked to make a verbal or written declaration on returning their child to a setting after an absence to confirm that they have no reason to believe the child has infectious disease and have followed all medical and public health advice they have received with respect to exclusion of the child from childcare services.Requiring assurances/certification from medical practitioners prior to attendance at childcare or prior to return to childcare after an absence is not appropriate as it places an unnecessary demand on the healthcare system and there is no reason to expect it to increase the safety of childcare services.
  • Is it safe for children to return to childcare?
  • hand-washing and ensuring that children learn good hand-washing techniques
  • respiratory hygiene and ensuring that children learn good techniques
  • ensuring good cleaning procedures in settings
  • washing toys regularly
  • spending more time outside with the children
  • grouping children together in smaller groups with the same staff members (‘play-pods’)
  • Parents should follow the drop off policy.
  • What should I do to prepare my child in returning to crèche/preschool/childminder or starting for the first time?
  • What is a Play Pod?
  • Do not bring any toys from home.
  • Masks/Social Distancing.
  • Supporting your child’s transition to primary school
  • Teaching new skills to children
  • Guidance on supporting your child for their return to early learning and care (Barnardos).
  • Working together with your child’s setting (DCEDIY).
  • FAQs for Parents, (DCEDIY)
  • City/County Childcare Committee (CCC)
  • Short animated video on returning to childcare for children, (DCEDIY) [Watch here].

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