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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: 29 July 2020

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. Thank you!

Our Health & Safety Protocol with regards to COVID-19 is listed below:

  • We ask everyone to continue with the previously communicated protocols, including:
  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.
  • 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;
  • 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 sanitising of groups and locations will continue by our cleaning company;
  • We are minimising 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.
  • 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 suspended field trips for all services;
  • We have removed communal fruit baskets;
  • We are minimising cross-location movement of staff to critical situations only;
  • External visitors are avoided or restricted to an absolute minimum;
  • All activities that involve group gatherings (parents’ evenings, graduation ceremonies), have been suspended until further notice.
  • Between children of all ages, the 1,5 meter distancing no longer applies from 1 July 2020 onwards;
  • Between employees and children, the 1,5 meter distancing no longer applies from 1 July 2020 onwards;
  • Between adults a distance of 1,5 meters applies at all times (between staff and parents as well as between colleagues).

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 care groups 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 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.

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:

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

RIVM guidelines - Children aged 0 - 6 years are allowed to go to Zein with a nose cold, except: 

  • if they have a fever (37,8 degrees or above, as per Zein's Sickness Protocol) or other complaints appropriate to COVID-19; 
  • if they have been in contact with a patient with a confirmed COVID-19 infection; 
  • if they have an adult family member with complaints appropriate to COVID-19 (colds and fever or shortness of breath) and the test result of the family member is not yet known.

RIVM guidelines - Children aged 7 - 12 with the following complaints stay at home:  

  • Runny nose;  
  • Sneezing;  
  • Sore throat;  
  • Slight cough;  
  • Increase of body temperature (37,8 degrees or above, as per Zein's Sickness Protocol);
  • Sudden loss of smell or taste.

RIVM guidelines - For all children regardless of age:

  • Children are only allowed back at Zein when they have no symptoms for 24 hours;
  • If anyone in the child's household has respiratory disease symptoms including a fever and / or shortness of breath, the child MUST stay at home;  
  • Once everyone in the family has no symptoms for 24 hours, the children may come back to childcare;
  • If someone in the child's household has been tested positive for COVID-19, the 
  • child must wait for that person to be free of symptoms for 24 hours and then
  • stay at home for an additional 14 days;
  • Children with complaints are tested (if possible/necessary) by the GGD with the
  • permission of parents / guardians.

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

  • Zein employees with respiratory issues or fever stay at home and are tested for COVID-19. For Zein employees, testing is arranged through Zein’s company doctor;
  • If any member of the household has cold-like symptoms and fever and/or respiratory issues, everyone in the household must stay home and the staff member is not allowed to come to work. The exception to this is when the own children of the employee of the ages of 0-4 or in group 1 or 2 of primary education have symptoms related to a nose cold (described above) - in this case the employee is allowed to work; 
  • Once all members of the household of the staff member have been free of any symptoms for 24 hours the staff member can return to work;
  • If someone in the staff member’s household has tested positive for COVID-19, the staff member isolates until the infected person(s) are free of complaints for 24 hours and then stay at home for an additional 14 days;
  • Employees returning from a country or area with the risk colour orange or red have to quarantine for 14 days upon return home. This also applies if the risk colour changed from yellow to orange or red during the travels.  

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.
  • Parents returning from a country or area with a risk code orange or red have to quarantine for 14 days upon their return home. The quarantine rules do not apply for children up to and including the age of 12 years old who are free of any symptoms. However, during the 14 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 14 days upon return home. This also applies if the risk colour changed from yellow to orange or red during the travels.