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Health & Safety Protocol: COVID-19

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Health & Safety Protocol: COVID-19

Let's keep the Zein community
healthy and safe collectively

​Updated on: 11 December 2020 (latest updates are stated in green)

Our COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocol reflects Zein’s commitment to the physical wellbeing of children and staff members in our care; the measures listed meet and exceed the current guidelines issued by the Dutch health authorities (RIVM and GGD) for childcares specifically, and will continue to be adapted accordingly as the situation develops. We kindly ask for your cooperation in keeping the Zein community healthy and safe - and are thankful for every effort made. 

Please note! When your child has a nose cold, kindly inform yourself on the decision tree created by Trade Association Childcare and RIVM before bringing your children to childcare.

Our Health & Safety Protocol with regards to COVID-19 is listed below. Additionally, a comprehensive list of FAQ's is provided. If your question is not answered below, please contact your location manager in the first instance. 

GENERAL HYGIENE PROTOCOL
  • We ask everyone to apply increased hygiene measures:
  1. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds;
  2. Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow;
  3. Use paper tissues and dispose of them immediately after use, and;
  4. Avoid shaking hands with others; 
  5. Not to touch your face. 
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer is available at all entrances and in all care, communal and office spaces. Soap and paper towels are available in all care spaces and sanitary facilities, and teachers and children follow the regular hand washing guideline with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
     
  • All members of staff wear masks indoors when they are stepping out of their group or office, all parents wear masks during drop-off and pick-up;
     
  • Children are informed and reminded of the hygiene protocol by their teachers, and posters are placed at the locations as a friendly reminder;
     
  • Additional thorough environmental cleaning of all (frequently touched) surfaces including indoor and outdoor play equipment, beyond our standard routine cleaning, has been implemented in-house and by our cleaning company. Daily sanitizing of groups and locations will continue by our cleaning company;
     
  • We are minimizing the grouping of children from different groups in one space as much as possible and staff is asked not to enter the care space of other groups without significant reason. The Day Care teachers will refer to their managers if they need anything from another group;
     
  • We will continue to maintain high quality hygiene in the kitchens and with preparation of food across service areas;
     
  • For the Out of School Care, the bus transportation company has confirmed a similarly strict hygiene protocol including but not limited to additional cleaning between every transfer and separation between the driver and passengers;
     
  • Location management will contact the local health authorities (GGD) immediately for guidance if there is a reported case of COVID-19 in any location.
SUSPENDED ACTIVITIES
  • For the Day Care and Pre-School groups, the weekly Physical Exercise sessions have been suspended, the inner halls will only be used by one group at a time, and the playgrounds will be used by a maximum of three groups at a time (two-group limit for the Willows location);
     
  • We have minimized field trips for all services;
     
  • We have removed communal fruit baskets;
     
  • We are minimizing cross-location movement of staff as much as possible;
     
  • External visitors are restricted to a minimum, necessary visitors (think of inspectors and suppliers) are required to wear mouth masks;
     
  • All activities that involve group gatherings (parents’ evenings, graduation ceremonies), have been suspended until further notice.
1,5 METER DISTANCING
  • Between children of all ages, the 1,5 meter distancing does not apply;
     
  • Between employees and children, the 1,5 meter distancing does not apply*;
     
  • Between adults a distance of 1,5 meters applies at all times (between staff and parents as well as between colleagues).

* Pregnant teachers in their third trimester who are working with the age group 4 - 13 year olds, will only carry out tasks which enables them to keep the 1,5 meter distance from the children. The staff member will discuss this with the company doctor. This measure does not apply for pregnant teachers working with the age group 0-4 year olds.

PICK UP & DROP OFF

Please note: Every location and group has received its own pickup and drop off protocol and other location-specific updates from the location or service manager. 

  • For Day Care parents, protocols have been made per location to reduce the need for parents to enter the building during drop-off and pick-up. Location manager informs parents of the specific drop-off and pick-up arrangements for the different groups;
     
  • Pre-School and Out of School Care parents do not enter the childcare location but receive their children in safely designated outside areas;
     
  • Phased drop-off and pick-up approach applies at locations with designated pick-up and drop-off points;
     
  • Children are dropped off and picked up by one adult only;
     
  • Parents wear mouth masks when entering our premises for drop-off and pick-up, even if the handover point is outside;
     
  • Parents to spend minimal time at the location. Parents’ room is not available;
     
  • Buggies cannot be left at the locations during the day;
     
  • Staff and parents to avoid using public transport as much as possible.
STAY AT HOME RULES

As the safety and physical well-being of the children and staff in our care is of utmost importance to us, we sought to reach a delicate balance which adheres to the most recent protocols presented by the RIVM for childcare organisations and schools, and upholds our own pre-existing Health & Safety measures. 

Please note: If necessary, the childcare organisation can contact the GGD if a child displays ongoing symptoms/complaints for a period of time and therefore cannot go to the childcare location. The GGD then initiates an investigation and conducts - if necessary - with parental consent – COVID-19 testing. See the RIVM test policy for this: https://www.rivm.nl/coronavirus-covid-19/testen.

Zein International Childcare follows the “Stay at Home Rules” as stated hereafter:

RIVM guidelines for children aged 0 - 12 years:

Please note! When your child has a nose cold, kindly inform yourself on the decision tree created by Trade Association Childcare and RIVM before bringing your children to childcare.

  • Children are allowed to go to Zein with cold like complaints (runny nose, nose cold. sneezing and/or sore throat), except: 
  1. If they have other complaints fitting to COVID-19 such as: a fever (37,8 degrees or above, as per Zein's Sickness Protocol), respiratory complaints, more than an occasional cough, sudden loss of smell and/or taste;
  2. If they are part of the same household as a patient with a confirmed COVID-19 infection; 
  3. If they have an adult family member with complaints appropriate to COVID-19, being mild symptoms in combination with fever of 38 degrees or shortness of breath, and the (negative) test result of the family member is not yet known.
  • Children are only allowed back at Zein when they have been symptom free for 24 hours minimum and are not ill in addition to their cold-like complaints;
     
  • Children up to and including the age of 12 do not need to be tested for COVID-19 unless: 
    • they are very ill; 
    • a member of their household or are a contact of an infected COVID-19 patient; 
    • they are part of an outbreak investigation. 
       
  • If anyone in the child's household displays cold-like symptoms as well as a fever of 38 degrees and / or shortness of breath, the child MUST stay at home;  
     
  • Once someone in the household has tested negative for COVID-19 or if everyone in the family has been symptom-free for 24 hours, the child may come back to childcare;
     
  • If someone in the child's household has been tested positive for COVID-19, the instructions from the GGD are leading. Children and other members of the household must stay at home for 10 days from the moment you were last in close contact with the infected person, when strict self isolation takes place (no contact between infected household member and other members). If strict self isolation is impossible within the household, the child must wait for the patient to be allowed to quit self isolation and then must stay at home for an additional 10 days. When a member of the household tests positive and strict self isolation (no risk contact with housemates) is possible and adhered to, housemates (incl. children) can get tested from the 5th day of the last risk contact, provided they have remained symptom free. If the test result is negative, the quarantine period of 10 days does not need to be completed. It is important to remain alert of any complaints and get tested again if symptoms do develop.  
     
  • If a child has a chronic cold, hay fever or asthma with recognizable representation, the child may go to childcare after consultation between parent/caretaker and Zein. In case of any doubt or when the complaints change/get worse, the child must stay at home until the complaints are gone or if the complaints are again a recognizable representation for the child;
     
  • In case of a positive infection amongst staff or children at Zein, we will immediately inform GGD. GGD will perform contact tracing upon receipt of our report and will decide if and what measures should to be taken by Zein or GGD depending the the severity of the particular case;

Kindly refer to the additional section below for the 'stay at home rules' for children and parents who have travelled abroad. 

Zein's Sickness Protocol for children
Please note! Whilst adhering to the RIVM guidelines, we would like to reiterate that Zein's Sickness Protocol still stands and will be carefully followed by all members of staff on all locations and services. 

A childcare center is not a suitable environment for a sick child because we cannot provide a child with the complete care he/she needs at that particular moment. Children who are sick are not expected to be brought to childcare, and must be picked up if they fall ill while at the center. Location management will contact parents with a request to pick up their child(ren) if they display the following symptoms:

  • When the child’s body temperature is 37,8 degrees or higher;
  • When the child feels too ill to join the daily program;
  • When the care needed for the child is so intensive that it will negatively influence the child or the group;
  •  If the child has a contagious disease.

  
Zein's Sickness Protocol for members of staff

  • Everyone from the age of 13 with COVID-19 complaints gets tested in case of (mild complaints) such as: 
    • Coughing; 
    • Nose cold;
    • Runny nose; 
    • Sneezing;
    • Throat ache;
    • Raised temperature up to 38 degrees or fever (38 and above);
    • Sudden loss of taste or smell. 
  • Zein employees must always immediately inform HR of any symptoms, HR will advise on the test procedure; 
  • Until the test result is known, the employee stays at home.
    • If the test result is negative, the employee can return to work. 
    • If the test result is positive, the employee will need to remain at home in isolation for at least 7 days. Thereafter, the employee can return to work if they have been symptom free for a minimum of 24 hrs.  
  • If someone in the household of the employee has mild COVID-19 complaints as well as a fever of 38 degrees or respiratory complaints, the employee stays at home. 
  • If the test result is negative or if everyone in the household has been symptom free for 24 hrs, the employee can return to work. 
  • If someone in the household of the employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the instructions from the GGD are leading. Employees need to remain in quarantine for 10 days after the last risk contact with the infected housemate, if strict isolation applies (no risk contact between the infected patient and other housemates). If the housemate has tested positive and strict isolation (without contact with the housemates) is possible, the housemates can get tested 5 days after the risk contact - if they have remained symptom free. If the test result is negative, the 10 day quarantine period does not need to be completed. It is important to remain alert of any symptoms and get tested again if symptoms do develop. 
    If strict self isolation is not possible, employees will need to remain in quarantine up to 10 days from the moment the housemate with covid-10 can quit isolation. 
  • If an employee without complaints gets tested for COVID-19 complaints and tests positive, the employee will remain in isolation at home for at least five days from the test moment. If the employee is still symptom free after five days, they can quit isolation and the quarantine also ends for their housemates. If the employee develops symptoms within five days after the test, the employee with remain in isolation for a longer period - and the housemates also remain in quarantine up to 10 days from the last risk contact.
COMMUNICATION

Despite the restrictions of the current circumstances, we find it important to remain in communication with parents. We encourage parents to contact us if you have any questions or information to share:

  • Communication with parents will take place by email, phone and Skype or Zoom sessions when a face to face meeting is required or preferred;
  • The daily update about the child’s day at Zein will be provided through parent app Konnect. If needed, additional updates will be provided by email.
CHILDREN, PARENTS AND EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM ABROAD
  • Children aged 0-12 years old returning from a country or area with a risk code orange or red are allowed to attend childcare, unless they have Covid-19 related symptoms or/and a member of their household has Covid-19 related symptoms combined with fever or shortness of breath.
     
  • Parents returning from a country or area with a risk code orange or red have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return home.
     
  • During the 10 day period, parents are not allowed to drop off and pick up their children themselves. This also applies when the risk colour changed from yellow to orange or red during their travels. We kindly ask families to keep themselves informed on the country risk codes via this link.
     
  • Employees returning from a country or area with the risk colour orange or red have to quarantine for 10 days upon return home. This also applies if the risk colour changed from yellow to orange or red during the travels.  
ZEIN OPERATIONS IN CASE OF A POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE

When a positive COVID-19 test result amongst the Zein community is being reported to us, these steps are being carefully followed:

  1. The relevant location/office/service manager contacts the person affected as soon as possible to establish details according to a questionnaire created by GGD. In case the manager is unavailable, the assistant manager or sub-in, must follow the steps below;
  2. Once all details are obtained, the manager will put this in writing and send an email to Zein's COVID-19 Team, immediately calling them to confirm receipt of the email;
  3. First, Zein's COVID-19 Team will perform an internal risk assessment, answering questions as 'How much direct contact was there between the infected person and adults within the organisation (during the two days prior to the symptoms)? Are these adults informed by the GGD of the need to quarantine?';
  4. After the initial risk assessment, the COVID-19 Team will be immediately liaising with GGD to obtain guidance on any further measures that are necessary:
  5. The COVID-19 team informs Zein's Marketing & Communications Department for the immediate sending of communications to the relevant target groups.

In principal, there are 3 scenarios. After Zein's COVID-19 Team has contacted the GGD to obtain guidance, the latter can decide on the following scenarios:

  1. No additional measures necessary in case of reported infection of child, parent or staff member
    A communication will be sent to staff, parents, and partner schools to inform them on the reported infection and asking them to be extra cautious watching out for symptoms. A letter from the GGD may be attached to the communication.
     
  2. Temporary closure of one group within location in case of staff shortages
    In this scenario, the location/group is not obliged to close according to GGD advice, but a group or the whole location has to close in case of a staff shortage. A communication will be sent to staff, parents, parent committee and partner schools to inform them of the decision to temporarily close the group/location.
     
  3. Temporary mandatory closure of location
    In case of a (temporary) mandatory closure of a location/group by order of the GGD, a communication will be sent to staff, parents, parent committee and partner schools to inform them of the decision to temporarily close the group/location. The end date of the closure period will be determined in consultation with GGD and communicated to all once known. Children as well as teachers cannot be placed at other locations/groups due to the infection-spreading risk.

Please note! In line with GDPR privacy regulations, no details of the infected person/s can be made available to third parties. In all communications, a reference will be made to ‘a parent', 'a child' or 'a staff member'.

F.A.Q.s - WHAT IF...

Please note this guidance in answering parent;s most F.A.Q.'s reflects RIVM instructions. At Zein, we actively encourage every family to seek out the most responsible response and consider keeping their child at home proactively if there is a (suspected) increased risk in your family due to symptoms in any member of the household, infection contact, scheduled test appointment, or travel to regions with code orange or red. Thank you for acting responsibly and considering the best interest of everyone in our community - babies to adults - at all times. 

To protect all of the Zein community, we kindly request that all parents promptly communicate any of the following scenarios to the location/service manager*:

  • A confirmed booking for a COVID-19 test;
  • A negative or positive test result;
  • Any travel to orange or red countries.

* Please be aware that no details of the (infected) person/s can be made available to third parties.

In case of a positive infection amongst staff or children at Zein, we immediately inform GGD who will perform contact tracing to determine which measures, if any, should be taken by Zein or GGD depending on the severity of the particular case.
 

If your child has a nasal cold (runny nose, mucus in/from the nose (colour irrelevant) possibly with sneezing, a light/occasional cough and/or throat ache):

Kindly consult the latest version of the decision tree created by Trade Association Childcare & RIVM before bringing your children to Zein.


If anyone living in the same house as the child experiences complaints fitting to COVID-19 as well as a fever (38.0 degrees Celsius / 99.5 degrees F or higher) or tightness of the chest:
All members of the household must isolate at home. Your child is not allowed to attend Zein. Once everyone in the family has no symptoms for 24 hours, or the affected person(s) have received a negative test result, the child may come back to childcare.


If any adult living in the same house as the child experiences mild symptoms fitting to COVID-19:
Please arrange a COVID-19 test appointment as quickly as possible and stay home until a negative test result has been released. This is how we can make a collective effort to control the spread of the virus and protect each other.
 

If your child or a member of your household is awaiting a COVID-19 test appointment or result:
As per RIVM guidelines, the person awaiting the test appointment or result stays at home until the negative test has been confirmed. You can only go outside for the test and therefore are not allowed to bring your child to childcare yourself. If, in addition to mild complaints, your symptoms include a fever (38.0 degrees Celsius) or tightness of the chest, all members of the household must isolate at home and the child cannot attend Zein until a negative test has been confirmed.

If a child or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19:
As per the RIVM guidelines, the complete household must isolate and stay at home. The Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) will tell you what you need to do. Your child cannot attend Zein until members of the household are authorised to stop isolating.

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19:  
As per the RIVM guidelines, you must isolate at home for 10 days from the moment you were in close contact with the infected person. If you develop complaints fitting to COVID-19, you must arrange to get tested immediately. Even if the results are negative, you must remain in isolation for the full 10 days. Close contact is considered more than 15 minutes within a 1,5m distance.

If you, your child or another member of your household returns from a country or area with an orange or red risk code:
Children 0 – 12 years old are allowed to attend childcare unless they have COVID-19 related symptoms or/and a member of their household has COVID-19 related symptoms combined with fever or tightness of the chest - or they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. Parents, caretakers and all others above the age of 12 have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return home and are not allowed to drop off and pick up their children themselves during this period. This also applies when the risk colour changed from yellow to orange or red during their travels. We kindly ask families to keep themselves informed on the country risk codes via this link.

If your child falls ill whilst attending Zein: 
Despite the measures relating to COVID-19, we would like to remind you of our general sickness protocol. A childcare centre is not a suitable environment for a sick child because we cannot provide a child with the complete care he/she needs at that particular moment. Children who are sick are not expected to be brought to childcare and must be picked up if they fall ill whilst at Zein. Location management will contact parents with a request to pick up their child(ren) if they display the following symptoms:

  • When the child’s body temperature is 37,8 degrees or higher;
  • When the child feels too ill to join the daily program;
  • When the care needed for the child is so intensive that it will negatively influence the child or the group;
  • If the child has a contagious disease.