The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health has issued the Advice and guidelines to the educational sector for the re-opening of kindergartens in Malta.
In the document, the Health Ministry states that each Kindergarten should adapt to these guidelines, according to the specific setup of the Kindergarten itself, and in line with other guidelines, as issued from time to time by the Health Authorities.
The guidelines provide recommendations for General Hygiene, Social Distancing, Daily Operations, Transport, and also outlines a strict cleaning and sanitising regime. Below please find some of the main points, with a link at the bottom to download and read the whole document in full.
When the kindergartens open again later this month, according to these guidelines, maximum efforts are to be made, so that the total number of children will not exceed 15 for Kinder 1 and 19 for Kinder 2.
Educators are to wear a mask or visor at all times, given the nature of the educational programme and the learning experience at Kindergarten level – this also applies for Learning Support Educators.
Children over 3 years, as had been previously mentioned, are to wear masks or visors in the common areas and on school transport, but this is not necessary within their own classrooms or when they are in the presence of the members of the same bubble or cluster, or when they are exercising. The guidelines also state that there should be no mixing from different bubbles/cohorts, which are also to be kept at a minimum.
Carrying out lessons outdoors is also being encouraged, as this “dilutes the presence of the viral particles, thus contact tracing would consider this as a mitigating factor against the spread when deciding on which contacts shall be placed in quarantine,” while the policy of staying home if unwell (for both students and staff) is to be enforced.
On the attendance, the guidelines also state that parents of children who have been previously shielded for an underlying medical condition, and therefore are considered vulnerable, should discuss the child’s attendance at the kindergarten with their doctor, and also with the management of the school – adding that the decision to attend rests with the parents/guardians of the child.
Pushchairs or any kind of infant carriers will not be allowed – with the exception of children with different abilities who use specifically-made carriers or other equipment.
Toys and other non-essential belongings will also be prohibited, apart from toys or other educational material which are specifically designed to stimulate children with different abilities or special needs, which can be easily cleaned or wiped.
Food containers and water bottles are to be cleaned and wiped down on removing them from their school bag before use. There will be no return of any unused food. Where possible disposable containers should be used, and they will not be returned. Shared food such as birthday cakes and sharing of lunches is to be avoided.
On the naptime, the guidelines state that, if applicable, children have to be spaced out as much as possible, ideally two metres apart. Children could be placed head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
Outings are not to be held, and no special events such as festivals, holiday events, special performances, Open Days and Moving-on Ceremonies, or visits by guests should be held.
Toilets and changing areas must be cleaned regularly, at least three times a day – this includes toilet seats, fittings, washbasins and floors. Protective gloves and mouth and nose protection must be worn by members of staff.
Linen must be changed daily, where applicable and the use of disposable toweling is encouraged
Toys and other resources need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly and certainly before another cluster/group uses these toys and resources. Only toys that can be easily cleaned should be used. Certain smaller toys, soft toys and possibly ball pits should be avoided unless one can be certain that they are adequately cleaned between one group of children and another.
Playdough/sand should not be shared between children. It would be ideal if children had their own craft accessories which would not be shared between them.
Floor cleaning should be carried out more regularly and frequently during the day, and as necessary and required in the case of spillages.
The guidelines also outline plans if someone becomes sick – where an isolation room is to be set up and made available. There are also guidance to educators and parents with sick children, measures for staff, transport guidelines, as well as guidelines about the COVID-19 Liaison Officer which should be designated in each kindergarten.
You Can Read the Full Document by CLICKING HERE