Baby and toddler groups - a guide to operating during the Covid-19 pandemic
All restrictions on baby and toddler groups - or 'parent and child groups' as the government refers to them - have now been lifted.
Government guidance overview
- How many people are allowed to attend baby and toddler groups?
There are currently no limit on the number of attendees.
- Do adults have to wear face coverings?
As of 27 January 2022, face coverings are no longer required in public places.
- Do we need to enforce social distancing?
There are currently no social distancing requirements.
- Are singing/music activities allowed?
The DfE advises that there will be no limits on the number of people who can sing indoors or outdoors. However, it adds that "Some activities, however, can increase the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. This happens where people are doing activities which generate more droplets as they breathe heavily, such as singing, dancing, exercising or raising their voices. The risk is greatest where these factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices. In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, you should be particularly careful to follow the guidance on keeping yourself and others safe.
- Do we need to keep a record of those attending the group?
Checking into a group or venue is no longer a requirement.
- Reducing transmission risk
Hand-washing: Government guidance recommends that baby and toddler group leaders should ensure that everyone maintains good hand hygiene. As such, where possible, it would be useful to provide hand sanitiser at entrance and exit points, and encourage parents and families to use it both as they arrive and as they leave.
Ventilation: Good ventilation is vital as it reduces the concentration of Covid-19 in the air, which reduces the risks from airborne transmission. As such, if your group operates indoors you should ensure that your space is well-ventilated with fresh air. Further government guidance on ventilation is available here.
Cleaning: Government guidance states that baby and toddler group leaders should any rooms used are cleaned after each use, and advice on cleaning is available here.
From a business or financial perspective, it is also important to consider the cost impact of additional time spent cleaning as it might, for example, affects your room hire charges if you need to be in the venue for longer than normal. If this is the case, you may want to look at whether you could reduce session times to allow for this or, if you charge for your sessions, adjusting your fees to account for this.